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Pulse Oximetry and Auscultation for Congenital Heart Disease Detection

Xiao-Jing Hu, Xiao-Jing Ma, Qu-Ming Zhao, Wei-Li Yan, Xiao-Ling Ge, Bing Jia, Fang Liu, Lin Wu, Ming Ye, Xue-Cun Liang, Jing Zhang, Yan Gao, Xiao-Wen Zhai, Guo-Ying Huang
Pediatrics 2017, 140 (4)

OBJECTIVES: Pulse oximetry (POX) has been confirmed as a specific screening modality for critical congenital heart disease (CCHD), with moderate sensitivity. However, POX is not able to detect most serious and critical cardiac lesions (major congenital heart disease [CHD]) without hypoxemia. In this study, we investigated the accuracy and feasibility of the addition of cardiac auscultation to POX as a screening method for asymptomatic major CHD.

METHODS: A multicenter prospective observational screening study was conducted at 15 hospitals in Shanghai between July 1, 2012, and December 31, 2014. Newborns with either an abnormal POX or cardiac auscultation were defined as screen positive. All screen-positive newborns underwent further echocardiography. False-negative results were identified by clinical follow-up, parents' feedback, and telephone review. We assessed the accuracy of POX plus cardiac auscultation for the detection of major CHD.

RESULTS: CHD screening was completed in all 15 hospitals, with a screening rate of 94.0% to 99.8%. In total, 167 190 consecutive asymptomatic newborn infants were screened, of which 203 had major CHD (44 critical and 159 serious). The sensitivity of POX plus cardiac auscultation was 95.5% (95% confidence interval 84.9%-98.7%) for CCHD and 92.1% (95% confidence interval 87.7%-95.1%) for major CHD. The false-positive rate was 1.2% for detecting CCHD and 1.1% for detecting major CHD.

CONCLUSIONS: In our current study, we show that using POX plus cardiac auscultation significantly improved the detection rate of major CHD in the early neonatal stage, with high sensitivity and a reasonable false-positive rate. It provides strong evidence and a reliable method for neonatal CHD screening.


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