Role of Pulse Oximetry in Detection of Congenital Heart Disease in Children.


ABSTRACT: Background: Congenital heart diseases are an important causes of morbidity & mortality of children. Pulse oximetry is used routinely in neonatal intensive care and emergency units. This study was aimed to evaluate the results of oxygen saturation measured by pulse oximetry with the purpose of use it to detect congenital heart diseases in children as it is readily available, relatively cheap and easily done. Patients and Method: This is a cross- sectional, comparative study. It was done at al- Batool Teaching Hospital for Maternity & Children- Diyala province/ Iraq from Sept 2011 – Mar 2012. Children who were suspected to have congenital heart disease was examined by echocardiography and pulse oximetry together, a cut- off value of oxygen saturation (Spo2) measured by pulse oximetry below 95% was considered low and compared to echocardiography results. Sensitivity, specificity, false positive rate, false negative rate, predictive values, & accuracy rate were calculated. Results: A ninety five children had enrolled, 45 ( 47%) of them had congenital heart diseases and 50 child ( 53%) had normal echocardiography results. Pulse oximetry showed a decreased Spo2 in 13 of 45 children with CHD ( sensitivity = 29 %) and it was normal in 44 from 50 normal children ( specificity = 88 %). The results were rather similar after comparing the results of Spo2 of acyanotic CHD children versus the normal children. Spo2 of cyanotic CHD of children to the normal group showed high sensitivity and specificity, 100 % & 88 %, respectively. Conclusion: Pulse oximetry was found to be specific & sensitive tool to detect cyanotic defects, so routine pulse oximetry may detect a child who might not have been detected otherwise. In acyanotic subtypes, pulse oximetry had a limited role in detection of the defect & in spite of good specificity to exclude them in normal babies.