The role of peritoneal dialysis (PD) in the management of infants after heart operation is under discussion. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of PD on fluid balance and outcome.
Twenty-seven (33%) of 81 consecutive infants who underwent heart operation required PD. In 22 patients (81%), PD was started prophylactically at the end of the operation. We recorded hemodynamic data and fluid balance. Patients experiencing acute renal failure (ARF) were compared with the remaining infants.
Eleven of 81 patients (14%) experienced ARF; 3 of them died (4% of all patients undergoing operation, 27% of those with ARF). Complications of PD, present in 33%, were transitory and of minor significance. Patients with ARF had decreased cardiac function compared with those without ARF but similar fluid balance.
Peritoneal dialysis is an effective and safe method for the treatment of ARF in infants after open heart operation. As PD is helpful in modulating postoperative fluid balance, prophylactic use of PD can be recommended for selected patients who are at risk for low cardiac output syndrome.
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