Background: Some infants with congenital heart disease are at risk of in-hospital cardiac arrest. To better foresee cardiac arrest in infants with congenital heart disease, it might be useful to continuously assess end-organ perfusion. Near-infrared spectroscopy is a non-invasive method to continuously assess multisite regional tissue oxygen saturation.
Case presentation: We report on two infants with duct-dependent congenital heart disease who demonstrated a gradual change in cerebral and/or renal tissue oxygen saturation before cardiopulmonary resuscitation was required. In both cases, other clinical parameters such as heart rate, arterial oxygen saturation and blood pressure did not indicate that deterioration was imminent.
Conclusions: These two cases demonstrate that near-infrared spectroscopy might contribute to detecting a deteriorating clinical condition and might therefore be helpful in averting cardiopulmonary collapse and need for resuscitation in infants with congenital heart disease.