Aims The significance and incidences of intraoperative arrhythmias occurring in the operating room (OR) in children with congenital heart disease (CHD) are unknown. Aims of this study were to determine incidences of intraoperative arrhythmias in children with CHD and to examine whether they are associated with persistent arrhythmias during follow-up. Methods and results Continuous ECG recordings obtained from 134 consecutive paediatric CHD patients were manually examined from the moment the aortic cross-clamp (ACC) was removed [use of ACC and cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB)], when CPB was stopped (use of only CPB) or when the sternum was closed (no use of ACC and CPB) until departure from the OR. In the OR, 2nd (60%) and 3rd (34%) degree atrioventricular conduction block (AVB), ectopic atrial rhythm (30%), and junctional rhythm (32%) were most often observed in patients who underwent surgery with both ACC and CPB. Incidences of these arrhythmias decreased after cessation of CPB (P < 0.01). (Supra)ventricular premature beats were mostly observed between end of ACC time and sternum closure (64?84%), but decreased before departure from the OR (6?16%, P < 0.01). During a median follow-up of 37 months, 17 patients (13%) had new onset, late post-operative arrhythmias. Of these patients, 88% had intraoperative arrhythmias compared with 85% of patients without late post-operative arrhythmias (P = 1). Conclusion Intraoperative arrhythmias, mainly 2nd degree AVB and (supra)ventricular premature beats, were frequently observed in children with CHD undergoing cardiac surgery with use of CPB and ACC. Most arrhythmias were short-lasting and transient and appeared not to be related to late post-operative arrhythmias.

Cardiac surgery, Intraoperative arrhythmia, Paediatric congenital heart disease, post-operative arrhythmia,
Department of Cardiology

Houck, C.A, Ramdjan, T.T.T.K, Yaksh, A, Teuwen, C.P, Lanters, E.A.H, Bogers, A.J.J.C, & de Groot, N.M.S. (2018). Intraoperative arrhythmias in children with congenital heart disease: Transient, innocent events. Europace, 20(7), e115–e123. doi:10.1093/europace/eux072