Early results of right ventricular-pulmonary artery conduits in patients under one year of age

AJ Levine, PA Miller, Oliver Stumper, John Wright, Eric Silove, Jo De Giovanni, B Sethia, WJ Brawn

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44 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVES: Management strategies for the repair of many complex heart defects require the implantation of a valved conduit between the right ventricle (RV) and the pulmonary artery (PA), often using aortic or pulmonary homograft valves. Their limited availability, however, has led to the development and use of new conduits. We retrospectively compared our experience with small homografts in patients of less than 1 year of age with the TissueMed bioprosthetic valved conduit. METHODS: From March 1994 to November 1997 29 patients in their first year of life underwent conduit implantation for complex heart defects. These were retrospectively reviewed in order to determine the incidence of death or conduit stenosis. Seventeen patients received homografts and 12 TissueMed conduits. RESULTS: Diagnoses and operative details including conduit size were similar in the two groups and in all cases complete repair of the underlying defect was carried out. Early post-operative mortality was 4/17 (23.5%) in the homograft group and 3/12 (25%) in the TissueMed group. Echo Doppler evaluation within 1 month of operation showed no right ventricular outflow tract (RVOT) obstruction in any of the survivors. In the TissueMed group 8/9 (77%) survivors have gone on to develop significant RVOT obstruction within 12 months of operation. There have been three late deaths in this group all related to severe RVOT obstruction. Two patients died during an attempt at balloon dilatation and one patient died of progressive right heart failure. Five patients had successful replacement of the TissueMed conduit. One child remains well with no evidence of RVOT obstruction. At operation to replace conduit, or at autopsy, the stenoses were related to the deposition of fibrous tissue at the anastomotic suture lines. In the homograft group none of the survivors developed RVOT obstruction during the first 12 months post-operatively. There was one late death (non-cardiac in origin) and one child is awaiting conduit replacement 40 months after initial implantation for obstruction. CONCLUSIONS: The homograft is a satisfactory conduit for re-establishment of RV-PA continuity in infancy. Further work needs to be undertaken in order to elucidate the mechanisms of early graft failure in bioprosthetic conduits if these are to be a suitable alternative for RV outflow reconstruction in infants.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)122-126
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2001


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