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A retrospective analysis of 55 patients who underwent replacement of the left atrioventricular valve following surgery for atrioventricular septal defect with separate right and left atrioventricular valves or with a common valvar orifice has revealed a marked decrease in the need for valvar replacement over time. Between 1983 and 1987, the incidence of replacement following repair has been 3% in infants. Overall early mortality for the entire series, extending from 1970 to 1987, was 22%. Mortality in the first year of life was 58%, which was significantly greater than mortality beyond one year of age (14%, p<0.01). Obstruction of the left ventricular outflow tract was a frequent incremental risk factor for death during infancy. The incidence of complete heart block (25%) is disappointingly high, and may reflect distortion of the left atrioventricular junction in an attempt to place as large a prosthesis as possible. The incidence of complete heart block has not decreased with time. These results confirm the desirability of secondary valvoplasty procedures to enable a child to be larger before ultimate replacement of the valve is required.
Abstract Lung biopsies were taken at surgery from five patients (age 2–13, average 7.6 years) with tetralogy of Fallot and pulmonary atresia with major aortopulmonary collateral arteries. The biopsies were then processed for ultrastructural study, comparing paired samples taken, on the one hand, from a segment connected to central pulmonary arteries and, on the other hand, from a segment supplied directly by collateral arteries. Specimens from patients with isolated ventricular septal defect, and from those without cardiac disease, were used as controls. In the patients with tetralogy of Fallot and pulmonary atresia, all biopsies taken from segments supplied by the major collateral arteries showed marked deposition of collagen in the alveolar wall, with an increase in the thickness of the basement membrane (3.6±1.2 µm, mean±SD) greater than seen in those taken from segments connected to central pulmonary arteries (0.9±0.6, p<0.05). The proportional fibrosis of the alveolar interstitial space was also significantly greater in the biopsies from the segments supplied by collateral arteries (30±9%) compared to those from segments fed by central pulmonary arteries (15±8%, p<0.05). No significant differences were found in these indices between the biopsies from segments connected to the central pulmonary arteries in patients with tetralogy of Fallot and pulmonary atresia and those from patients with isolated ventricular septal defect or normal controls. There was no apparent relation to the pulmonary arterial pressure in these findings. The results suggest that the pulmonary segments fed directly by major aortopulmonary collateral arteries in patients with tetralogy of Fallot and pulmonary atresia seem likely to be afflicted by alveolar wall fibrosis, although the etiology and clinical implications of this finding remain unclear.
We describe 4 patients in whom the pulmonary veins were compressed between the descend ing aorta and the atrial part of the heart in consequence of an abnormal distribution of the pulmonary blood flow after the Fontan procedure.
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