Objective: To predict pulmonary hypertension (PH) therapy at discharge in a large multicenter cohort of infants with congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH).
Study design: Six-year linked records from Children’s Hospitals Neonatal Database and Pediatric Health Information System were used; patients whose diaphragmatic hernia was repaired before admission or referral, who were previously home before admission or referral, and non-survivors were excluded. The primary outcome was the use of PH medications at discharge and the secondary outcome was an inter-center variation of therapies during inpatient utilization. Clinical factors were used to develop a multivariable equation randomly applied to 80% cohort; validated in the remaining 20% infants.
Results: A total of 831 infants with CDH from 23 centers were analyzed. Overall, 11.6% of survivors were discharged on PH medication. Center, duration of mechanical ventilation, and duration of inhaled nitric oxide were associated with the use of PH medication at discharge. This model performed well in the validation cohort area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.9, goodness-of-fit χ2, p = 0.17.
Conclusions: Clinical variables can predict the need for long-term PH medication after NICU hospitalization in surviving infants with CDH. This information may be useful to educate families and guide the development of clinical guidelines.