Anatomical studies of transposition – an argument for a unifying morphological classification

Nikita Maria, Max Roderick, John Stickley, Nigel Drury, Timothy Jones, David Barron, William Brawn, Robert H Anderson, Adrian Crucean

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In the setting of transposition, recognition of the variability in the morphology of the outflow tracts and the arterial trunks is essential for surgical repair. Presence of a unifying system for classification would minimize the risk of misunderstanding. We examined an archive of 142 unrepaired hearts with transposition, defined as the combination of concordant atrioventricular and discordant ventriculoarterial connections, combined with the clinical records of 727 patients undergoing the arterial switch procedures. In the setting of usual atrial arrangement, we found the aortic root in leftward or posterior location in up to 5% of our cohorts, making the common term “d-transposition” ambiguous. Variability in the relationship of the trunks was commoner in the setting of deficient ventricular septation, especially when the trunks were side-by-side (14% vs 5.5% when the ventricular septum was intact). Bilateral infundibulums were present in 14% of cases, and bilaterally deficient infundibulums in 3.5%. Both of these findings were more common with deficient ventricular septation. Fibrous continuity between the tricuspid and pulmonary valves was not always seen with perimembranous defects, particularly when there were bilateral infundibulums. Fibrous continuity between the leaflets of the tricuspid and mitral valves, in contrast, proved a unifying characteristic of the perimembranous defect. The combination of concordant atrioventricular and discordant ventriculoarterial connections is best described simply as “transposition,” with precision provided when details are given of atrial arrangement and the relationships of the arterial trunks.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)920-926
JournalSeminars in Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Issue number4
Early online date23 May 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 May 2020


  • Atrial arrangement
  • Discordant ventriculoarterial connections
  • Nomenclature
  • Taussig-Bing malformation
  • d-transposition


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