Comparative Study
Journal Article
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Comparison of muscle-sparing thoracotomy and thoracoscopic ligation for the treatment of patent ductus arteriosus.

PURPOSE: We reviewed our experience with the treatment of patent ductus arteriosus (PDA), and compared two therapeutic techniques; muscle-sparing thoracotomy (MST) and thoracoscopic PDA ligation (TPDAL).

METHODS: We reviewed the clinical records and operative reports of 19 nonnewborn patients who were treated at our institution for PDA. Eleven patients underwent TPDAL and eight patients MST. The TPDAL patients underwent thoracoscopic clipping (ligation) of the PDA, whereas the MST group had a complete division of the ductus. A two-tailed Student's t test was used to calculate the 95% confidence intervals for length of operation, number of doses of intravenous narcotics and hospital stay. Costs were also compared.

RESULTS: All patients underwent diagnostic echocardiography in the evaluation of an asymptomatic murmur. Both groups were similar in age (average, 4 years) and gender. All procedures were performed electively. Two thoracoscopic attempts were aborted, one for bleeding and the other for inadequate clip size. The length of the procedure averaged 1.3 hours +/- 0.330 SD for TPDAL versus 1.4 hours +/- 0.335 SD for MST. Five of the nine successful TPDAL patients were admitted to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) with an average length of stay of 20 hours, and two of eight MST patients stayed in the PICU for average of 18 hours. All patients were extubated after the procedure. Chest tubes were placed in two TPDAL patients and three MST patients. However, two patients who underwent TPDAL required tube thoracostomy for persistent postoperative pneumothorax. Average number of intravenous narcotics administered for the TPDAL was 1.2 doses per patient and for MST, 1.75 doses per patient. Mean hospital stay for TPDAL was 1.33 +/- 0.71 SD days and for MST 1.8 +/- 0.83 SD days. Ninety-five percent (95%) confidence intervals for the difference in means demonstrated no difference between the two groups for length of operation, hospital stay, or number of doses of intravenous narcotics administered.

CONCLUSIONS: The authors were unable to identify any benefit to thoracoscopic patent ductus arteriosus ligation versus muscle-sparing thoracotomy in terms of hospital stay, length of operation, or morbidity. Additionally, with MST there is a complete division of the PDA theoretically decreasing the risk of recurrence in comparison with clip ligation.

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