Right ventricle-to-pulmonary artery shunt and modified Blalock-Taussig shunt in preparation to hemi-Fontan procedure in children with hypoplastic left heart syndrome

Katarzyna Januszewska, Jacek Kołcz, Tomasz Mroczek, Małgorzata Procelewska, Edward Malec
European Journal of Cardio-thoracic Surgery 2005, 27 (6): 956-61

OBJECTIVE: The advantageous effect of right ventricle-to-pulmonary artery shunt (RV-PA) on the early postoperative hemodynamics in the Norwood procedure for hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) is well known. Numerous controversies still exist with respect to the late consequences of this new palliation method in preparation for the second stage procedure.

METHODS: Between September 1997 and September 2004, a consecutive series of 78 children with HLHS from a single institution underwent the hemi-Fontan procedure: Group 1 (n=27) after Blalock-Taussig shunt (BT), and Group 2 (n=51) after RV-PA. Hemodynamic, echocardiographic and clinical perioperative data were analyzed.

RESULTS: There were no significant differences in the age and operative weight (Group 1: 6.9+/-1.04 months, 6.22+/-0.99 kg; Group 2: 6.57+/-1.12 months, 6.36+/-0.86 kg). Children after RV-PA were characterized by a significantly higher preoperative hematocrit value (P=0.014), lower aortic and superior vena cava oxygen blood saturation (P<0.001, P=0.024), severe right ventricle hypertrophy more rarely diagnosed in echocardiography (P<0.004), lower Qp:Qs ratio (P=0.011), larger right (P=0.001) and left (P=0.006) pulmonary artery index and a shorter intensive care unit stay after the hemi-Fontan procedure (P=0.004).

CONCLUSIONS: The Norwood procedure with the RV-PA shunt provides satisfactory late hemodynamics and improves the development of the pulmonary arteries. Children with hypoplastic left heart syndrome subjected to this new method of palliation are good candidates for the hemi-Fontan procedure.

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