Restoration of the Pulmonary Valve Reduces Right Ventricular Volume Overload After Previous Repair of Tetralogy of Fallot

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Abstract

Background

Severe pulmonary regurgitation (PR) and associated right ventricular (RV) dilatation are late complications of surgical repair of tetralogy of Fallot (TOF). For the past several years, we have restored pulmonary valve competence with the exclusive use of cryopreserved allografts.

Methods and Results

Sixteen patients with symptoms of diminished exercise tolerance and echocardiographic evidence of progressive PR with severe RV dilatation underwent placement of allografts in the RV outflow tract at a median age of 12 years (10 years after TOF repair). Abnormal exercise tolerance tests were documented in 10 patients. Additional surgical procedures included pulmonary artery augmentation (n=6), closure of residual left to right shunts (n=3), and subendocardial resection for monomorphic ventricular tachycardia (n=1). Six patients had either preoperative or postoperative balloon dilations of pulmonary artery stenoses. All patients had symptomatic improvement after allograft insertion. At a mean follow-up of 26.4±3.4 months, the severity of PR improved in all but one patient. In 12 patients (group 1), conduit regurgitation was either trace (n=11) or mild (n=1). Four patients (group 2) had moderate conduit regurgitation. In a retrospective analysis, pulmonary artery diameters and cross-sectional areas were significantly smaller in the group 2 patients compared with the group 1 patients. With the exception of one patient, RV end-diastolic diameter (RVEDD/BSA) fell after allograft insertion in each patient (P<.01). The reduction in RVEDD/BSA was significantly greater in group 1 than in group 2 (31.8±3.4% versus 21.4±11.0%o, P<.05).

Conclusions

Thus, restoration of the pulmonary valve with cryopreserved allografts improved exercise tolerance and diminished RV volume overload in patients with severe PR after previous repair of TOF. Optimal results were achieved in patients who did not have significant residual pulmonary artery distortion.

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