Somatostatin for postoperative chylothorax after surgery for children with congenital heart disease.
Chylothorax is a rare but serious postoperative condition with a high rate of morbidity that may lead to death of children with congenital heart disease. Here we reviewed nine consecutive cases with chylothorax in infants and children following cardiac surgery from March 2002 to February 2003. Somatostatin was added to conservative treatment protocol to increase effectiveness of therapy in all cases. The duration of somatostatin therapy varied from 7 to 32 days. All cases of chylothorax were successfully treated with intravenous infusion of somatostatin as an adjunctive treatment. Even though two cases showed rebound phenomena, we avoided any surgical procedure in the nine patients who treated with conservative management combined with somatostatin. No significant side effects of somatostatin were observed. It seems that somatostatin is effective, noninvasive and safe therapeutic modality. It can be used as an adjunctive treatment to conservative management to control postoperative chylothorax in children with congenital heart disease.