Aortopulmonary window: factors associated with early and late success after surgical treatment

J A van Son, F J Puga, G K Danielson, J B Seward, D D Mair, H V Schaff, D M Ilstrup
Mayo Clinic Proceedings 1993, 68 (2): 128-33
Between 1953 and 1990, 19 patients, who were from 7 weeks to 27 years old, underwent surgical correction of aortopulmonary window at the Mayo Clinic. Associated cardiac anomalies were present in nine patients (47%). At operation, extracorporeal circulation was used in all except one patient. In seven patients, division and primary closure were done. In four patients, the defect was closed by direct suture through a transpulmonary approach. In eight patients, the defect was closed with a patch through a transpulmonary or transaortic approach. Four deaths (21%) occurred intraoperatively or immediately postoperatively. All four patients had undergone division of the aortopulmonary window before 1962, and three of them had a pulmonary vascular resistance (Rp) that was 7.3 U.m2 or more and a ratio of Rp to systemic vascular resistance (Rp/Rs) that exceeded 0.6. One patient with an Rp of 11.8 U.m2 and an Rp/Rs of 0.72 died 16 years postoperatively. Statistical analysis of risk factors indicated that early year of operation (P = 0.022), division of the aortopulmonary window versus transaortic or transpulmonary closure (P = 0.009), and a high Rp/Rs (P = 0.021) were significantly associated with perioperative death. All patients with a preoperative Rp of 8 U.m2 or less, an Rp/Rs of less than 0.4, and no major associated cardiac anomalies were in functional class I (New York Heart Association) postoperatively. Our study confirms that infants with aortopulmonary window should undergo operation early, before irreversible pulmonary vascular changes have developed. Patients with an Rp/Rs that exceeds 0.4 should be thoroughly assessed to determine their operability.

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