Twenty Years of Repair of Ventricular Septal Defects in Ghana

M N Tamatey, M M Tettey, F Edwin, E A Aniteye, K Entsua-Mensah, B Gyan, I K Adzamli, G Offei-Larbi, L A Sereboe, K Frimpong-Boateng
West African Journal of Medicine 2020, 37 (3): 281-283

BACKGROUND: Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD) is the commonest congenital heart disease. Without appropriate treatment, it is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Surgical repair under cardiopulmonary bypass has been the standard treatment. Results of such treatment is not readily available from the West African sub region. We analysed the outcome of surgical repair of VSDs carried out in this Centre over a 20-year period.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: A retrospective study was done for all patients who had surgical repair of VSD from January 1993 to December 2012.

RESULTS: There were a total of 207 patients, with 6 and 23 of them operated on in the first and last years of the study respectively. There were 121 (58.5%) males and 86 (41.5%) females. The mean age was 10.0 ± 10.5 (11 months - 55 years), with a median of 7 years. The modal class interval was 0 - 5 years (46.4%). Most of the VSDs were perimembranous 168 (81.1%), followed by outlet VSDs 19 (9.2%), muscular VSDs 11 (5.3%) and inlet VSDs 9 (4.4%). Fifty-four cases (26%) had associated congenital cardiac anomalies that needed concomitant surgical intervention, with the commonest being Pulmonary Stenosis (PS) 21 (10.1%), followed by Patent Ductus Ateriosus (PDA) 10 (4.8%). The complication rate was 6.4% (13 cases), comprising a morbidity of 4.4 % (9 cases) and early mortality of 2.0% (4 cases). The morbidity was due to bleeding requiring re-exploration 2 (1.0%), residual VSD requiring re-do 3 (1.4%), complete heart block requiring permanent pacemaker implantation 2 (1.0%), acute renal failure requiring dialysis 1 (0.5%), sternal wound infection requiring debridement 1 (0.5%). The mortality was due to pulmonary hypertension.

CONCLUSION: With a morbidity of 4.4% and early mortality of 2.0%, the outcome of surgical repair of VSDs from this study is good. Children with VSDs must be offered repair as soon as possible to avoid the numerous complications that usually follow untreated VSDs.

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