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OBJECTIVE: As COVID-19 continues to affect the global population, it is crucial to study the impact of the disease in vulnerable populations. This study of a diverse, international cohort aims to provide timely, experiential data on the course of disease in paediatric patients with congenital heart disease (CHD).
METHODS: Data were collected by capitalising on two pre-existing CHD registries, the International Quality Improvement Collaborative for Congenital Heart Disease: and the Congenital Cardiac Catheterization Project on Outcomes. 35 participating sites reported data for all patients under 18 years of age with diagnosed CHD and known COVID-19 illness during 2020 identified at their institution. Patients were classified as low, moderate or high risk for moderate or severe COVID-19 illness based on patient anatomy, physiology and genetic syndrome using current published guidelines. Association of risk factors with hospitalisation and intensive care unit (ICU) level care were assessed.
RESULTS: The study included 339 COVID-19 cases in paediatric patients with CHD from 35 sites worldwide. Of these cases, 84 patients (25%) required hospitalisation, and 40 (12%) required ICU care. Age <1 year, recent cardiac intervention, anatomical complexity, clinical cardiac status and overall risk were all significantly associated with need for hospitalisation and ICU admission. A multivariable model for ICU admission including clinical cardiac status and recent cardiac intervention produced a c-statistic of 0.86.
CONCLUSIONS: These observational data suggest risk factors for hospitalisation related to COVID-19 in paediatric CHD include age, lower functional cardiac status and recent cardiac interventions. There is a need for further data to identify factors relevant to the care of patients with CHD who contract COVID-19 illness.