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Congenital cardiovascular lesions in children with trisomy 21 at the Bustamante Hospital for Children

  • Tamra W. Tomlinson (a1), Charmaine H. Scott (a1) and Helen L. M. Trotman (a2)



To describe the cardiac lesions seen in children with trisomy 21, the outcome of these children and rates of access to corrective surgery at the Bustamante Hospital for Children.


A 10-year retrospective review of the records of trisomy 21 patients with cardiac lesions referred to the Bustamante Hospital for Children was conducted.


A total of 76 patients were enrolled in the study, 30 (40%) males and 46 (60%) females; among these 110 cardiac lesions were detected. A total of 20 (26%) patients died, 48 (63%) survived, and for 8 (11%) the status was unknown. The most common lesion was the atrioventricular septal defect, which accounted for 41 (37%) of all the lesions and occurred as a single defect in 24 (53%) patients. At presentation, 33 (46%) patients had one or more medical complication; 30 (91%) had cardiac failure, 10 (30%) had pneumonia and 5 (15%) had evidence of systemic pulmonary arterial pressures. Cardiac catheterisation was recommended for 43 (56%) patients but only 10 (23%) had the procedure done. Surgery was recommended for 60 (79%) patients; of these 6 (10%) patients had the procedure done. The median time of survival was 88 months (7.3 years). The age of presentation was not found to significantly affect outcome.


Trisomy 21 patients with cardiac lesions have high morbidity and mortality. This morbidity and mortality could be reduced if surgical intervention was offered routinely.


Corresponding author

Correspondence to: Dr Helen Trotman Department of Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Child Health, University of the West Indies, Mona, St Andrew, Jamaica. Tel: 876-970-0329; Fax: 876-927-1446; E-mail:


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Congenital cardiovascular lesions in children with trisomy 21 at the Bustamante Hospital for Children

  • Tamra W. Tomlinson (a1), Charmaine H. Scott (a1) and Helen L. M. Trotman (a2)


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