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The primary extracardiac inferior cavopulmonary connection is an unusual novel palliation for single-ventricle physiology, which we first performed in the setting of unfavourable upper-body systemic venous anatomy for a standard bi-directional Glenn, and in lieu of leaving our patient with shunt-dependent physiology. After an initial 16-month satisfactory follow-up, increasing cyanosis led to the discovery of a veno-venous collateral that was coiled, but, more importantly, to impressive growth of a previously diminutive superior caval vein, which allowed us to perform completion Fontan with a good outcome. Performing the single-ventricle staging in a reverse manner, first from below with a primary inferior cavopulmonary connection, followed by Fontan completion from above with a standard superior caval vein bi-directional Glenn, is also possible when deemed necessary.
Debilitating patient-related non-cardiac co-morbidity cumulatively increases risk for congenital heart surgery. At our emerging programme, flexible surgical strategies were used in high-risk neonates and infants generally considered in-operable, in an attempt to make them surgical candidates and achieve excellent outcomes.
Materials and methods
Between April, 2010 and November, 2013, all referred neonates (142) and infants (300) (average scores: RACHS 2.8 and STAT 3.0) underwent 442 primary cardiac operations: patients with bi-ventricular lesions underwent standard (n=294) or alternative (n=19) repair/staging strategies, such as pulmonary artery banding(s), ductal stenting, right outflow patching, etc. Patients with uni-ventricular hearts followed standard (n=96) or alternative hybrid (n=34) staging. The impact of major pre-operative risk factors (37%), standard or alternative surgical strategy, prematurity (50%), gestational age, low birth weight, genetic syndromes (23%), and major non-cardiac co-morbidity requiring same admission surgery (27%) was analysed on the need for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, mortality, length of intubation, as well as ICU and hospital length of stays.
The need for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (8%) and hospital survival (94%) varied significantly between surgical strategy groups (p=0.0083 and 0.028, respectively). In high-risk patients, alternative bi- and uni-ventricular strategies minimised mortality, but were associated with prolonged intubation and ICU stay. Major pre-operative risk factors and lower weight at surgery significantly correlated with prolonged intubation, hospital length of stay, and mortality.
In our emerging programme, flexible surgical strategies were offered to 53/442 high-risk neonates and infants with complex CHDs and significant non-cardiac co-morbidity, in order to buffer risk and achieve patient survival, although at the cost of increased resource utilisation.
The superior cavopulmonary anastomosis – bi-directional Glenn – is the standard palliation for single ventricle physiology. When upper body systemic venous anatomic concerns such as superior caval vein stenosis, hypoplasia, or inadequate collateral tributaries are present, a Glenn may be precluded or have a high risk of poor outcome. A primary inferior cavopulmonary connection with an extracardiac conduit is an alternative palliation that provides a generous pathway for pulmonary blood flow, with the additional benefit of including hepatic venous return. We report a case of primary extracardiac inferior cavopulmonary connection in a patient unsuitable for Glenn, with successful post-operative outcome and early follow-up.
Left atrial appendage aneurysm is an extremely rare anomaly and as such has been rarely imaged or seen intraoperatively with very little accumulated management experience. The available scant published literature stresses resection on cardiopulmonary bypass as the safest and by far the most commonly applied technique. We suggest a novel alternative imaging-guided management utilising an off-pump tourniquet snare technique under live transoesophageal echocardiography.
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