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Balloon aortic valvuloplasty and open surgical valvotomy are procedures to treat neonatal aortic stenosis, and there is controversy as to which method has superior outcomes.
We reviewed the records of patients at our institution since 2000 who had a balloon aortic valvuloplasty or surgical valvotomy via an open commissurotomy prior to 2 months of age.
Forty patients had balloon aortic valvuloplasty and 15 patients had surgical valvotomy via an open commissurotomy. There was no difference in post-procedure mean gradient by transthoracic echocardiogram, which were 25.8 mmHg for balloon aortic valvuloplasty and 26.2 mmHg for surgical valvotomy, p = 0.87. Post-procedure, 15% of balloon aortic valvuloplasty patients had moderate aortic insufficiency and 2.5% of patients had severe aortic insufficiency, while no surgical valvotomy patients had moderate or severe aortic insufficiency. The average number of post-procedure hospital days was 14.2 for balloon aortic valvuloplasty and 19.8 for surgical valvotomy (p = 0.52). Freedom from re-intervention was 69% for balloon aortic valvuloplasty and 67% for surgical valvotomy at 1 year, and 43% for balloon aortic valvuloplasty and 67% for surgical valvotomy at 5 years (p = 0.60).
Balloon aortic valvuloplasty and surgical valvotomy provide similar short-term reduction in valve gradient. Balloon aortic valvuloplasty has a slightly shorter but not statistically significant hospital stay. Freedom from re-intervention is similar at 1 year. At 5 years, it is slightly higher in surgical valvotomy, though not statistically different. Balloon aortic valvuloplasty had a higher incidence of significant aortic insufficiency. Long-term comparisons cannot be made given the lack of long-term follow-up with surgical valvotomy.
The Ross procedure involves using the native pulmonary valve for aortic valve replacement then replacing the pulmonary valve with an allograft or xenograft. We aimed to compare our age-matched experience with the bovine jugular vein conduit and the pulmonary homograft for pulmonary valve replacement during the Ross procedure in children.
Between 1998 and 2016, 15 patients <18 years of age underwent a Ross procedure using the bovine jugular vein conduit (Ross-Bovine Jugular Vein Conduit) at our institution. These patients were age-matched with 15 patients who had the Ross operation with a standard pulmonary homograft for right ventricular outflow tract reconstruction (Ross-Pulmonary Homograft). Paper and electronic medical records were retrospectively reviewed.
The median age of the Ross-Bovine Jugular Vein Conduit and Ross-Pulmonary Homograft patients were 4.8 years (interquartile range 1.1–6.6) and 3.3 years (interquartile 1.2–7.6), respectively (p = 0.6). The median follow-up time for the Ross-Bovine Jugular Vein Conduit and Ross-Pulmonary Homograft groups were 1.7 years (interquartile range 0.5–4.9) and 6.8 years (interquartile range 1.9–13.4), respectively (p = 0.03). Overall, 5-year survival, freedom from redo aortic valve replacement, and freedom from pulmonary valve replacement were similar between groups.
The bovine jugular vein conduit and pulmonary homograft have favourable mid-term durability when used for right ventricular outflow tract reconstruction for the Ross operation. The bovine jugular vein conduit may be a suitable replacement for appropriately sized patients undergoing a Ross aortic valve replacement, though longer follow-up is needed.
The initial classic Fontan utilising a direct right atrial appendage to pulmonary artery anastomosis led to numerous complications. Adults with such complications may benefit from conversion to a total cavo-pulmonary connection, the current standard palliation for children with univentricular hearts.
A single institution, retrospective chart review was conducted for all Fontan conversion procedures performed from July, 1999 through January, 2017. Variables analysed included age, sex, reason for Fontan conversion, age at Fontan conversion, and early mortality or heart transplant within 1 year after Fontan conversion.
A total of 41 Fontan conversion patients were identified. Average age at Fontan conversion was 24.5 ± 9.2 years. Dominant left ventricular physiology was present in 37/41 (90.2%) patients. Right-sided heart failure occurred in 39/41 (95.1%) patients and right atrial dilation was present in 33/41 (80.5%) patients. The most common causes for Fontan conversion included atrial arrhythmia in 37/41 (90.2%), NYHA class II HF or greater in 31/41 (75.6%), ventricular dysfunction in 23/41 (56.1%), and cirrhosis or fibrosis in 7/41 (17.1%) patients. Median post-surgical follow-up was 6.2 ± 4.9 years. Survival rates at 30 days, 1 year, and greater than 1-year post-Fontan conversion were 95.1, 92.7, and 87.8%, respectively. Two patients underwent heart transplant: the first within 1 year of Fontan conversion for heart failure and the second at 5.3 years for liver failure.
Fontan conversion should be considered early when atrial arrhythmias become common rather than waiting for severe heart failure to ensue, and Fontan conversion can be accomplished with an acceptable risk profile.
Pulmonary lymphangiectasia associated with hypoplastic left heart syndrome with an intact or restrictive atrial septum may result from increased left atrial pressure, and is associated with worse outcomes following staged reconstruction due to lung dysfunction and significant hypoxaemia. Our objective was to characterise the incidence of pulmonary lymphangiectasia in cases of early mortality following stage 1 reconstructions.
An institutional cardiac surgical database was retrospectively searched for patients who died within 30 days following a stage 1 reconstruction between 1 January, 1984 and 31 December, 2013. During that period, 1669 stage 1 procedures were performed. Autopsy lung specimens were reviewed by a paediatric pathologist. Patients who died of suspected technical issues were excluded.
A total of 54 patients were included, and of these seven cases (8.5%) of pulmonary lymphangiectasia were identified. The mean estimated gestational age was 38.2±2.4 weeks, and the mean birth weight was 3.0±0.6 kg. The median interval between surgery and death was 1 day (with a range from 0 to 18 days). The atrial septum was intact in one patient (14.3%), restrictive in three patients (42.9%), and unrestrictive in three patients (42.9%).
Pulmonary lymphangiectasia may develop in hypoplastic left heart syndrome with or without a restrictive atrial septum. As standard prenatal diagnostic evaluations and treatment methods for pulmonary lymphangiectasia are limited, this may be an important contributor to early and late mortality following stage 1 reconstruction for hypoplastic left heart syndrome.
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