An aortopulmonary window is a communication between the ascending aorta and pulmonary trunk in the presence of two separate arterial valves, and is often complicated by other associated defects. We sought to determine management and related outcomes in patients with this malformation.
We identified those patients presenting between 1969 and 1999 from the databases held in our Departments of Cardiology, Pathology and Cardiovascular Surgery. We obtained data relating to issues concerning demography, clinical findings, imaging, management and outcome.
The median age at presentation for the 42 patients identified, of whom 23 were female, was 62 days, with a range from birth to 6 years. Associated cardiac defects were present in 34 patients, including interruption of the aortic arch in 6 patients. The correct diagnosis was initially missed in 13 patients. Of the patients, six died without surgical repair, and 1 patient was lost-to-follow-up. Repair was performed in 35 patients, subsequent to repair of other defects in 4, in association with repair of other defects in 17, of whom 3 died, and as an isolated procedure in 14 patients, one of the latter being treated by transcatheter closure. Overall, there were 9 deaths, all in patients with complex associated defects, except 1 patient with a missed aortopulmonary window after repair of aortic coarctation. Kaplan-Meier estimates of survival were 81% at 3 months until 11.5 years, and 69% up to 21 years. Only the presence of interrupted aortic arch was independently associated with increased time-related mortality, the hazard ratio being 5.87 (p = 0.009).
The outcome for an isolated lesion is excellent. Mortality occurs mainly before repair, mostly with complex associated lesions, particularly interruption of the aortic arch.