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We evaluated the physical characteristics of the pulmonary trunk in 32 patients with complete transposition after the arterial switch operation, calculating the pulmonary input impedance. In 6 of the patients, the characteristic impedance was equal to, or less than, the value in patients with ventricular septal defect. In those patients with an intact ventricular septum, or those with a ventricular septal defect who had undergone the arterial switch operation or banding of the pulmonary trunk before 3 months age, the frequency of the first modulus minimum also agreed with the values obtained in patients with ventricular septal defect. The value was high, however, in patients with complete transposition with ventricular septal defect who had undergone an arterial switch operation or banding of the pulmonary trunk after 4 months of age. Our data suggest decreased distensibility of the proximal pulmonary trunk after the arterial switch operation, and mild changes in the pulmonary vasculature in patients with complete transposition with ventricular septal defect who had undergone either an arterial switch operation or banding of the pulmonary trunk after 4 months of age. Long-term follow-up is needed clarify whether or not these features affect right ventricular function by means of an increase in afterload.
We report a two-year-old boy with a rare combination of tetralogy of Fallot and aortic coarctation. The obstruction in this patient had an hourglass-like configuration, with a pressure difference of 15 mm Hg. There was a right aortic arch, bilateral brachiocephalic arteries, and persistent left superior caval vein. Percutaneous transluminal balloon angioplasty was performed to lower the resistance to the left ventricular ejection, considered a risk factor for subsequent corrective surgery of tetralogy. Six months later, he underwent combined repair of tetralogy of Fallot and coarctectomy with end-to-end anastomosis, thus avoiding the future potential for restenosis. During surgery, a ligament was found extending from the right subclavian artery to the distal side of the coarctation. The perioperative course was uneventful, indicating the success of the preoperative balloon angioplasty. We speculate that the embryogenesis of the coarctation could be related to an abnormal involution of the aortic arches.
The size of the coronary arteries parallels the ventricular mass, thus it may be abnormal in complete transposition beyond infancy and could be influenced by the arterial switch operation. To investigate this possibility, we measured the diameters of the right, left main trunk, anterior descending, and circumflex coronary arteries before and three to seven years (mean 4.8) after the arterial switch operation in 17 patients with a “normal” distribution of the coronary arteries (so-called Shaher type 1). The values were compared with 18 controls who had Kawasaki disease with no apparent coronary arterial disease. The right, left anterior descending, and circumflex arteries were smaller than control values before the operation. The post-/preoperative ratios of the diameter were 1.16±0.11 for the right coronary artery, 1.18±0.16 for the left main trunk, 1.20±0.18 for the left anterior descending artery, and 1.22±0.26 for the circumflex artery. There were no significant differences among these values. After surgery, the right coronary artery was larger, but the left coronary arteries were smaller in the patients than in the controls: 2.5±0.3 vs 2.0±0.2 mm for the right coronary artery; 2.4±0.3 vs 2.7±0.1 mm for the left main trunk; 1.9±0.2 vs 2.4±0.2 mm for the left anterior descending artery; 1.6±0.4 vs 2.2±0.5 mm for the circumflex artery, respectively. The posterior descending coronary artery originated from the right coronary artery in all patients. The total cross-sectional area of the right coronary, left anterior descending, and circumflex arteries was 9.7±2.4 mm2 in the patients, and 11.8±2.9 mm2 in the controls (p>O. 1), suggesting that the increased size of the right coronary artery compensates for the small left coronary arteries. We conclude that the arterial system in complete transposition, with a large right coronary artery and small left coronary system, remains smaller than normal even at midterm follow-up after anatomic repair despite normalization of left ventricular volume and muscle mass.
This study was designed to determine, first, the stiffness of the pulmonary arteries and, second, the relationship between the stiffness of the pulmonary arteries and the success rate of balloon angioplasty in patients with complete transposition after an arterial switch operation. Indexes of pulmonary arterial wall stiffness, percent change in the radius during a cardiac cycle and the pressure elastic modulus, were calculated from the pulmonary arterial pressure and radius measured from a cineangiogram. Of the patients, 13 had no significant stenosis, while 25 had significant stenoses and, therefore, underwent balloon angioplasty. In all, we dilated 33 stenotic lesions. In the presence or absence of postoperative pulmonary stenosis, the percent change in the radius of the pulmonary trunk was significantly less than the normal value. The pressure elastic modulus of the trunk and its branches was significantly greater than normal, and increased significantly with time after the operation. In patients without pulmonary stenosis, the systolic pulmonary arterial pressure increased concomitantly with the pressure elastic modulus. Balloon dilation was successful at 17 locations and unsuccessful at 16 locations. The percent change in radius was significantly less for the failures than for the successes. Prior to 3.5 years after the operation, the pressure elastic modulus was < 400 g/cm2 at most locations and balloon dilation was successful in 88%. More than 3.5 years after the operation, the pressure elastic modulus was < 400 g/cm2 in 11 of 15 locations, and balloon dilation was successful in only one location. The increased stiffness of the pulmonary artery may result in increased pulmonary systolic pressure in patients without pulmonary stenosis, and result in a low success rate for balloon angioplasty in patients with pulmonary stenosis.
Since the success of the arterial switch procedure is dependent on the successful translocation of the coronary arteries, a thorough understanding of the anatomic variations of the coronary arteries is essential. We reviewed the anatomy of the coronary arteries encountered in 140 consecutive cases undergoing the arterial switch procedure for complete transposition at the Heart Institute of Japan. The anatomic variations, described using the Shaher and Puddu classification, varied significantly, requiring alteration in the surgical technique.
Balloon dilation was performed in four patients with postoperative pulmonary stenosis who had undergone surgical creation of a coronary arterial tunnel in the pulmonary trunk. Two patients had complete transposition in whom the arterial switch operation had been performed using the modified Aubert method. The other two patients had anomalous origin of the left coronary artery from the pulmonary trunk treated with the Takeuchi procedure. Balloon dilation was performed at 11 locations. The pressure gradient decreased from 48 ± 22 to 24 ± 14mmHg (p<0.01), and the diameter of the narrowest segment increased from 5.3 ± 2.5 to 7.5 ± 2.8mm (p<0.01), respectively. Of the 11 procedures, 8 (73%) were judged successful with use of the criterion of success as a greater than 50% decrease in pressure gradient, and/or a greater than 50% increase in diameter. The inflated balloon must have compressed the coronary arterial tunnel in the pulmonary trunk, but there was no apparent myocardial damage in any patient, although transient and mild ST-T changes appeared on electrocardiographic monitoring during the procedure in 2 patients. Rupture of the wall of the pulmonary trunk occurred in two patients, one of whom required elective surgical intervention. These data suggest that balloon dilation should be performed with caution for management of postoperative pulmonary arterial stenosis in patients with a surgically created intrapulmonary coronary arterial tunnel, since tearing the wall of the pulmonary trunk may occur.
The outcome of primary repair in young infants having atrioventricular septal defect with a common atrioventricular orifice and regurgitation across the left atrioventricular valve is not yet satisfactory. We studied the significance of the characteristics of left ventricular volume and mass and the predicted wall stress for the outcome of repair in 13 infants with this lesion. Three patients died of left heart failure after operation, although neither residual shunting at ventricular level nor regurgitation across the left atrioventricular valve was present. End-diastolic volume and ejection fraction of the left ventricle were 228 ±66% and 0.65 ±0.06 of normal, respectively, with no difference between the survivors and non-survivors. End-diastolic thickness of the posterior ventricular wall, determined by echocardiogram, was within normal range for body size in all patients.
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