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A wide variety of surgical strategies are used in tetralogy of Fallot repair. We sought to describe the international contemporary practice patterns for surgical management of tetralogy of Fallot.
Surgeons from 18 international paediatric cardiac surgery centres (representing over 1800 tetralogy of Fallot cases/year) completed a Research Electronic Data Capture-based survey. Participating countries include: China (4), India (2), Nepal (1), Korea (1), Indonesia (1), Saudi Arabia (3), Japan (1), Turkey (1), Australia (1), United States of America (2), and Canada (1). Summary measures were reported as means and counts (percentages). Responses were weighted based on case volume/centre.
Primary repair is the prevalent strategy (83%) with variation in age at elective repair (range). Approximately 47% of sites use patient age as a factor in determining the strategy, with age <3 months being the common cut-off for staged repair. In addition, patient weight of <3 kg is an indication for staged repair in 80% of participating institutions. Trans-atrial ventricular septal defect closure is the preferred approach in 62% of sites. Approximately 70% of responders reported using pulmonary valve z-score to guide right ventricular outflow tract management technique with the most prevalent cut-off for annulus preservation being a z-score of −3. Estimated incidence of annulus preservation is 53%. Minimal trans-annular incision is performed in >90% of all trans-annular repairs.
In this cohort representing 11 countries, there is variation in tetralogy of Fallot surgical management with no consensus on standard of practice. A large international prospective cohort study would allow analysis of impact of underlying anatomy and repair strategy on early and late outcomes.