JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Preoperative management of pulmonary venous hypertension in hypoplastic left heart syndrome with restrictive atrial septal defect.

A severely restrictive atrial septal defect (ASD) in neonates with hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) results in pulmonary venous hypertension, pulmonary edema, and intractable hypoxia. Between January 1983 and June 1998, 21 of 355 neonates presenting with HLHS (5.9%) underwent cardiac catheterization at median age 1 day (range 0 to 25), for creation or enlargement of a restrictive or absent interatrial communication. One patient died during preliminary angiography. Three underwent blade septostomy with 2 procedure-related deaths, and 1 had balloon atrial septostomy (BAS); all 4 died before surgical intervention. Fifteen underwent Brockenbrough atrial septoplasty with transatrial needle puncture and serial balloon dilations of the new ASD, 5 after unsuccessful BAS. The most recent patient had a stent placed across the atrial septum after transatrial needle puncture. In the 16 patients treated with septoplasty or stent, oxygen saturation increased from 50 +/- 4% to 83 +/- 2% (p <0.0001) and transatrial pressure gradient decreased from 16 +/- 1 to 6 +/- 1 mm Hg (p <0.0001). One patient died awaiting transplantation, supportive care only was requested in 1, and 14 underwent stage 1 palliation. Eight of 14 (57%) survived to hospital discharge. Six of 7 (86%) survived bidirectional Glenn and the 3 who have undergone fenestrated Fontan are alive. In neonates with HLHS, a restrictive ASD resulting in profound cyanosis demands urgent intervention. BAS is frequently unsuccessful and blade septostomy has high mortality. Pulmonary venous hypertension can be adequately relieved by Brockenbrough atrial septoplasty or stenting, allowing stabilization before reconstructive surgery or while awaiting transplant.

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