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Utility of computed tomographic angiography in the pre-operative planning for initial and repeat congenital cardiovascular surgery

  • Alexander R. Ellis (a1) (a2), Denise Mulvihill (a3), Scott M. Bradley (a4) and Anthony M. Hlavacek (a2)



To investigate the utility of computed tomographic angiography as an adjunctive imaging modality before congenital cardiac surgery.


We evaluated 33 patients who underwent a pre-operative computed tomographic angiogram. They were classified according to the anatomic site of repair. Post-operatively, the surgeon completed a questionnaire assessing the utility of the study.


Computed tomographic angiography was found to be either “essential” or “very useful” for pre-operative planning in 94% of the patients. Specifically, the scan was consistently useful for procedures involving the aorta (14/15, 93%) or the pulmonary veins (4/4, 100%) and obviated pre-operative catheterisations in 14 patients (42%). Furthermore, when compared with other diagnostic groups, computed tomographic angiography determined the need for peripheral cannulation in patients undergoing re-operations (6/7; 86%, p = 0.02).


Computed tomographic angiography was found to be useful in the pre-operative planning of virtually all patients undergoing repair of congenital cardiac malformations, regardless of diagnosis. Specifically, the studies were essential in select populations, such aortic arch or pulmonary vein repairs, and helped to determine cannulation sites for repeat operations while significantly reducing the need for invasive imaging.


Corresponding author

Correspondence to: Dr A. R. Ellis, MD, MSc, Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters, Eastern Virginia Medical School, 601 Children’s Lane, Norfolk, Virginia 23507, United States of America. Tel: +1 757 668 7214; Fax: +1 757 668 8225; E-mail:


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Utility of computed tomographic angiography in the pre-operative planning for initial and repeat congenital cardiovascular surgery

  • Alexander R. Ellis (a1) (a2), Denise Mulvihill (a3), Scott M. Bradley (a4) and Anthony M. Hlavacek (a2)


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