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Near-infrared spectroscopy for prediction of extubation success after neonatal cardiac surgery

  • Eleanor A. Gradidge (a1), Lisa M. Grimaldi (a2), Katherine Cashen (a3), Keshava M. N. Gowda (a4), Kurt D. Piggott (a5), Michael Wilhelm (a6), John M. Costello (a7) and Christopher W. Mastropietro (a8)...



Reliable predictors of extubation readiness are needed and may reduce morbidity related to extubation failure. We aimed to examine the relationship between changes in pre-extubation near-infrared spectroscopy measurements from baseline and extubation outcomes after neonatal cardiac surgery.

Materials and Methods:

In this retrospective cross-sectional multi-centre study, a secondary analysis of prospectively collected data from neonates who underwent cardiac surgery at seven tertiary-care children’s hospitals in 2015 was performed. Extubation failure was defined as need for re-intubation within 72 hours of the first planned extubation attempt. Near-infrared spectroscopy measurements obtained before surgery and before extubation in patients who failed extubation were compared to those of patients who extubated successfully using t-tests.


Near-infrared spectroscopy measurements were available for 159 neonates, including 52 with single ventricle physiology. Median age at surgery was 6 days (range: 1–29 days). A total of 15 patients (9.4 %) failed extubation. Baseline cerebral and renal near-infrared spectroscopy measurements were not statistically different between those who were successfully extubated and those who failed, but pre-extubation cerebral and renal values were significantly higher in neonates who extubated successfully. An increase from baseline to time of extubation values in cerebral oximetry saturation by ≥ 5 % had a positive predictive value for extubation success of 98.6 % (95%CI: 91.1–99.8 %).


Pre-extubation cerebral near-infrared spectroscopy measurements, when compared to baseline, were significantly associated with extubation outcomes. These findings demonstrate the potential of this tool as a valuable adjunct in assessing extubation readiness after paediatric cardiac surgery and warrant further evaluation in a larger prospective study.


Corresponding author

Author for correspondence: L. M. Grimaldi, MD, Division of Cardiovascular Intensive Care, Phoenix Children’s Hospital, 1919 E. Thomas Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85016, USA. Tel: +1 (201) 410-2504; E-mail:


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Cardiology in the Young
  • ISSN: 1047-9511
  • EISSN: 1467-1107
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