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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.
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