Transcaval correction of partial anomalous pulmonary venous drainage into the superior vena cava

Mohamed Nassar, Virginie Fouilloux, Loïc Macé, Bernard Kreitmann, Dominique Metras
Annals of Thoracic Surgery 2012, 93 (1): 193-6

BACKGROUND: The ideal technique for addressing partial anomalous pulmonary venous drainage into the superior vena cava (SVC), with or without sinus venosus atrial septal defect (ASD), is debated. The risk of sinus node dysfunction, systemic, or pulmonary venous channels obstruction has led to different techniques being developed. We present our experience with 45 patients operated on using a vertical transcaval approach, without atrial or cavoatrial junction incision.

METHODS: Between 2001 and 2010, 45 patients (28 females, 17 males, with a mean age of 5 years (range, 8 months to 70 years), underwent operations using 1 patch of autologous pericardium, after vertical SVC incision anterior to the anomalous pulmonary veins: 43 had associated sinus venosus ASD, and 6 had associated left SVC. Access was through sternotomy in 19 and right posterior thoracotomy in 26. An additional right atrial incision, without crossing the cavoatrial junction, was used in 2 patients without ASD. Mean cardiopulmonary bypass time was 76 minutes. Mean cross-clamp time was 44 minutes.

RESULTS: No deaths or important morbidities occurred. Mean follow-up was 4.4 years (range, 2 months to 9.3 years). All patients had regular echocardiographic examination, electrocardiogram, and midterm 24-hour Holter electrocardiogram. No new arrhythmias occurred. All patients showed unobstructed caval and pulmonary venous flow.

CONCLUSIONS: The vertical transcaval approach is a simple, highly reproducible technique for correction of partial anomalous pulmonary venous drainage into the SVC. It yields excellent results, with unobstructed pulmonary and systemic venous flow and without arrhythmia development. It can also be performed through a cosmetic right posterior thoracotomy.

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