Effect of Nitric Oxide via Cardiopulmonary Bypass on Ventilator-Free Days in Young Children Undergoing Congenital Heart Disease Surgery: The NITRIC Randomized Clinical Trial
Importance: In children undergoing heart surgery, nitric oxide administered into the gas flow of the cardiopulmonary bypass oxygenator may reduce postoperative low cardiac output syndrome, leading to improved recovery and shorter duration of respiratory support. It remains uncertain whether nitric oxide administered into the cardiopulmonary bypass oxygenator improves ventilator-free days (days alive and free from mechanical ventilation). Objective: To determine the effect of nitric oxide applied into the cardiopulmonary bypass oxygenator vs standard care on ventilator-free days in children undergoing surgery for congenital heart disease. Design, Setting, and Participants: Double-blind, multicenter, randomized clinical trial in 6 pediatric cardiac surgical centers in Australia, New Zealand, and the Netherlands. A total of 1371 children younger than 2 years undergoing congenital heart surgery were randomized between July 2017 and April 2021, with 28-day follow-up of the last participant completed on May 24, 2021. Interventions: Patients were assigned to receive nitric oxide at 20 ppm delivered into the cardiopulmonary bypass oxygenator (n = 679) or standard care cardiopulmonary bypass without nitric oxide (n = 685). Main Outcomes and Measures: The primary end point was the number of ventilator-free days from commencement of bypass until day 28. There were 4 secondary end points including a composite of low cardiac output syndrome, extracorporeal life support, or death; length of stay in the intensive care unit; length of stay in the hospital; and postoperative troponin levels. Results: Among 1371 patients who were randomized (mean [SD] age, 21.2 [23.5] weeks; 587 girls [42.8%]), 1364 (99.5%) completed the trial. The number of ventilator-free days did not differ significantly between the nitric oxide and standard care groups, with a median of 26.6 days (IQR, 24.4 to 27.4) vs 26.4 days (IQR, 24.0 to 27.2), respectively, for an absolute difference of -0.01 days (95% CI, -0.25 to 0.22; P = .92). A total of 22.5% of the nitric oxide group and 20.9% of the standard care group developed low cardiac output syndrome within 48 hours, needed extracorporeal support within 48 hours, or died by day 28, for an adjusted odds ratio of 1.12 (95% CI, 0.85 to 1.47). Other secondary outcomes were not significantly different between the groups. Conclusions and Relevance: In children younger than 2 years undergoing cardiopulmonary bypass surgery for congenital heart disease, the use of nitric oxide via cardiopulmonary bypass did not significantly affect the number of ventilator-free days. These findings do not support the use of nitric oxide delivered into the cardiopulmonary bypass oxygenator during heart surgery. Trial Registration: anzctr.org.au Identifier: ACTRN12617000821392.
Schlapbach, Luregn J.; Gibbons, Kristen S.; Horton, Stephen B.; Johnson, Kerry; Long, Debbie A.; Buckley, David H.; Erickson, Simon; Festa, Marino; d'Udekem, Yves; Alphonso, Nelson; Winlaw, David S.; Delzoppo, Carmel; van Loon, Kim; Jones, Mark; Young, Paul J.; Butt, Warwick; and Schibler, Andreas, "Effect of Nitric Oxide via Cardiopulmonary Bypass on Ventilator-Free Days in Young Children Undergoing Congenital Heart Disease Surgery: The NITRIC Randomized Clinical Trial" (2022). GW Authored Works. Paper 1360.