Transposition of the great vessels and intact ventricular septum: is there an age limit for the arterial switch? Personal experience and review of the literature

Zied Daoud, Halkawt Ali Nuri, Ambra Miette, Giuseppe Pomè
Cardiology in the Young 2020, 30 (7): 1012-1017

OBJECTIVE: Prognosis of the transposition of the great arteries has completely changed since the introduction of the arterial switch. Time limit to perform this intervention is still controversial. The aim of this study is to demonstrate the early and late outcome of primary arterial switch operation beyond the age of months.

METHODS: We included all patients with the diagnosis of transposition of the great arteries with intact ventricular septum beyond the age of 8 weeks who underwent primary arterial switch operation. The procedures were performed by the same surgeon, in two different institutes. Patients who had transposition of the great arteries and associated anomalies (except atrial septal defect and persistent arterial duct) were excluded. Ventricular shape, geometry, and mass were not considered during the decision on procedure type.

RESULTS: In the study, 11 patients with the diagnosis of simple d-transposition of the great arteries beyond 8 weeks were undergone primary arterial switch operation with a mean age of 90.63 days (60-137 days), and 7 patients had a Rashkind procedure. All patients had squashed left ventricle shape with preserved function. The sternum was left open in 10 patients. Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation support was necessary in 45.45% of cases. The mean mechanical ventilation time was 7.27 days (1-16 days). No mortality was recorded until now. Post-operatory left ventricular function was preserved in 90.9% of the patients. Only one patient had mild myocardial dysfunction at the time of discharge.

CONCLUSIONS: Primary arterial switch procedure can still be the best surgical option in patients with the diagnosis of transposition of the great arteries with intact ventricular septum beyond 8 weeks of age, providing that mechanical circulatory support and an expert cardiac intensive care unit service are available.

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