Variability in Treatment of Post-coarctectomy Hypertension: A Multicenter Study.Pediatr Cardiol. 2016 Apr; 37(4):772-7.PC
Many pharmacologic therapies are available for treatment of post-coarctectomy hypertension in pediatric patients, which may lead to variability in care. Evaluation of trends in pharmacotherapy is necessary to evaluate quality of care. The Pediatric Health Information System database was queried from 2004 to 2013 for patients >30 days of age who had an ICD-9 code for coarctation of the aorta repair of coarctation by end-to-end anastomosis and had a RACHS-1 score of 2. Patients were excluded if they were admitted for >30 days, underwent mechanical circulatory support, or expired during the admission. Patient demographic and hospital data were collected along with antihypertensive pharmacotherapy. Trends in antihypertensive, analgesic, and sedative pharmacotherapy were evaluated, and multivariable statistical analysis was used to determine variables that significantly influenced cost. A total of 1636 patients [66.6 % male, median age 1.5 years (IQR 0.31-5.3)] met study criteria. Patients received a median of 3 (IQR 2-4) antihypertensive medications for a median of 8 days (IQR 5-11). Intravenous antihypertensive therapy was prescribed for a median 3 days (IQR 2-5) and oral therapy for a median of 1 day (IQR 1-2). Antihypertensive therapy was continued at discharge in 79.8 % of patients. Hospital cost increased by 36 % over the study period (p < 0.01), and nicardipine, dexmedetomidine, and intravenous acetaminophen were most strongly associated with increased cost (p < 0.001). Variability in the pharmacotherapy of post-coarctectomy hypertension in pediatric patients exists, and the use of newer agents may be influencing the cost of care.