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Presurgical pulmonary function tests in the first few days of life in neonates with congenital heart disease, a pilot study



To compare early pulmonary function tests (PFTs) in neonates with critical congenital heart disease (CHD) compared to a historical reference group.


Infants ≥ 37 weeks gestation with critical CHD were studied within the first few days of life, prior to cardiac surgery, and compared to data from a published reference group of healthy term neonates without CHD, studied at the same institution. Passive respiratory resistance (Rrs) and compliance (Crs) were measured with the single breath occlusion technique following specific acceptance criteria. The study was powered for a 30% difference in Rrs.


PFTs in 24 infants with CHD were compared to 31 historical reference infants. There was no difference in the Rrs between the groups. The infants with CHD had a significantly decreased Crs (1.02 ± 0.26 mL/cmH2O/kg versus 1.32 ± 0.36; (p < 0.05; mean ± SD)).


Further prospective studies are required to quantify early PFTs in infants with CHD of different phenotypes.

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Data availability

The datasets generated during and/or analyzed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.


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Supported by Novice Researcher Award from the Gerber Foundation (HL) and R33HL147906 (CTM).

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Authors and Affiliations



HL, AM, CM and IS were all actively involved in study design. HL consented study participants. DS and KP conducted the PFT studies and AJ performed the statistical analysis. All authors participated in the drafting and review of the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Hayden Leeds.

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Competing interests

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose. The study sponsors had no role in any of the following: (1) study design; (2) the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; (3) the writing of the report; or (4) the decision to submit the manuscript for publication.

Ethics approval and consent to participate

This study was approved the IRB at Oregon Health and Science University and parental consent was obtained for all participants. The study was performed in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki.

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Leeds, H., Muralidaran, A., Johnson, A.J. et al. Presurgical pulmonary function tests in the first few days of life in neonates with congenital heart disease, a pilot study. J Perinatol (2024).

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