Transcaval repair of the sinus venosus syndrome

I A Nicholson, R B Chard, G R Nunn, T B Cartmill
Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery 2000, 119 (4): 741-4

BACKGROUND: Surgical correction of the sinus venosus syndrome has been associated with sinus node dysfunction and venous obstruction postoperatively. We present the long-term follow-up of a lateral transcaval approach, which closes the atrial communication and corrects the partial anomalous pulmonary venous connection to the superior vena cava with the use of a simple pericardial patch.

METHODS: The records of 66 patients undergoing repair between April 1981 and April 1997 were examined. Mean age at repair was 10.2 years (range, 1.5-65 years; median, 5 years). Six patients had a left superior vena cava, 4 had an additional atrial septal defect, and 2 had coronary artery bypass grafts. Immediate and long-term follow-up included physical examination, electrocardiography, transthoracic echocardiography, and use of a 24-hour ambulatory Holter monitor. Sinus node function, incidence of significant arrhythmia, and evidence of mechanical venous obstruction were assessed.

RESULTS: Follow-up data were available for 64 (97%) patients for a mean follow-up of 4.1 years (range, 1-9 years). There were no deaths. No evidence of residual atrial septal defect, superior vena cava, or venous obstruction were found by echocardiography. On electrocardiography all patients were in sinus rhythm, with no arrhythmia seen. Holter monitoring was performed at a mean of 7.3 years postoperatively. All patients had normal sinus node function, and no sustained atrial arrhythmia was seen.

CONCLUSION: Transcaval repair is a simple technique that does not interfere with sinus node function. There is no evidence to suggest that this approach leads to venous obstruction.

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