Intraoperative Device Closure of Ventricular Septal Defects

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Abstract

Background

Surgical repair of muscular ventricular septal defects (VSDs) has been associated with significant morbidity and mortality when the defects are multiple, associated with complex cardiac lesions, or requiring left ventriculotomy. Transcatheter VSD closure may be difficult in patients weighing less than 7 kg or those with limited vascular access. We attempted intraoperative device closure of muscular VSDs during surgical repair of associated lesions.

Methods and Results

We considered intraoperative umbrella closure in 10 patients, 8 with additional complex heart lesions. “Swiss cheese” defects were present in 4. Median patient age was 4.7 months. Device closure was not attempted in 1 patient due to an inadequate septal rim. Nine umbrellas, 12 to 40 mm in diameter, were positioned to straddle the septum in all 9 patients. There were 3 early deaths, 2 in patients who were moribund preoperatively. The third was due to severe ventricular dysfunction. Among the 6 survivors, 3 had a Qp:Qs c2 and right ventricular or pulmonary artery pressure less than half systemic. These patients had no further intervention. The other 3 had a Qp:Qs >2. One died unexpectedly 5 weeks after cardiac surgery. The other 2 had subsequent closure of residual VSDs. All 5 survivors are well at follow-up of 8 to 25 months.

Conclusions

Intraoperative umbrella VSD closure appears less successful than VSD closure in the catheterization laboratory. In selected patients, particularly very small infants, intraoperative device placement may be advantageous. Completeness of closure is difficult to assess intraoperatively.

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