The aim of this study was to assess whether postoperative cardiac troponin T levels could predict ventilation requirements in infants undergoing the arterial switch operation. Cardiac troponin T was measured 6 hours after aortic cross clamping and prior to tracheal extubation in 20 consecutive patients; 10 had simple and 10 had complex (with ventricular septal defect) transposition of the great arteries. The mean plasma troponin T level prior to extubation did not differ significantly in patients who were re-intubated and those who were successfully extubated. The initial cardiac troponin T levels in the complex defect group was significantly higher than in the simple transposition group. There was no correlation between initial cardiac troponin T levels and the duration of mechanical ventilation. There was no difference in mean duration of ventilation between the 2 groups. It was concluded that the postoperative cardiac troponin T level is not a predictor of successful extubation or prolonged artificial ventilation in this subset.
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