Cardiopulmonary Bypass and Infant Vaccination Titers


Infants with congenital heart disease remain vulnerable to potentially preventable pathogens. Although immunization can significantly reduce this risk, it is unknown how immunization status can be affected by cardiac surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB). The objective was to evaluate the effect of CPB on infant vaccination status after cardiac surgery.


We conducted a prospective observational study of patients between 2 and 14 months of age who had received at least their first round of infant vaccinations and who required cardiac surgery with CPB. Antibody titers were measured before CPB and again the following morning. Demographic and surgical variables were assessed via regression methods for their effects on the change in titers.


Among the 98 patients followed, there was no demonstrated difference between the pre- and postoperative values in regard to diphtheria, tetanus, polio 1, polio 3, or Haemophilus influenzae titers. Bordetella (1.03 vs 0.84, P < .001), and hepatitis B (log 2.10 vs 1.89, P = .001) titers did reduce after CPB but did not fall below the immunized threshold. Changes in antibody titers were not associated with time between immunization and surgery, age or weight at surgery, blood products administered, number of previous doses, time on CPB, or heterotaxy diagnosis for most of the vaccines.


Infant vaccine antibody titers were minimally affected by CPB and not associated with any easily modifiable surgical variables. Although antibody titers are only 1 marker of immunity, deviation from the recommended vaccination schedule may be unnecessary for children requiring congenital heart surgery.

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