Document Type



Paediatrics and Child Health


To screen all newborns admitted to a tertiary care hospital to rule out congenital heart disease before discharge and to find out the utility of pulse oximetry to detect congenital heart disease.
This prospective study was done at Aga Khan University Hospital from January 2014 to December 2014 in 1,650 newborns over a period of 12 months. Pulse oximetry and clinical examination were done. Persistent oxygen saturation less than 95% was considered as positive pulse oximetry. Newborns who had positive pulse oximetry or abnormal clinical examinations findings were subjected to echocardiography.
Pulse oximetry was performed on 1,650 newborns, out of which 25 (1.5%) had congenital heart disease. Positive pulse oximetry cases were 16 (0.97%), out of which 10 had only positive pulse oximetry (negative clinical examination). Positive clinical examination cases were 45 (2.7%), out of which 39 cases had only positive clinical examinations (negative pulse oximetry). Six newborns had both positive pulse oximetry and positive clinical examination. Out of the 25 diagnosed cases of congenital heart disease, ventricular septal defect (VSD) was the most common congenital heart disease, followed by patent ductus arteriosus (PDA). The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value of pulse oximetry were 32%, 99.5%, 50%, and 98.9% respectively.
The community setting of a developing country, a combination of pulse oximetry screening and clinical examination are better at detecting congenital heart defects than either test alone



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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

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