Ventricular interaction in children after repair of tetralogy of Fallot: a longitudinal echocardiographic study

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AimsProgressive right ventricular (RV) dilation due to pulmonary regurgitation (PR) after repair of tetralogy of Fallot (TOF) may impair left ventricular (LV) filling. Our aim was to analyse long-term time courses of M-mode LV and RV measurements and to relate these to the degree of PR.Methods and resultsRetrospective longitudinal cohort of children (n = 88) after repair of TOF followed by serial echocardiography over 9 years. LV and RV diameters were expressed by z-scores based on normal paediatric reference values. Time courses of LV and RV diameter z-scores, degree of PR, and influence of co-variables were analysed using mixed regression models. LV diameter z-scores were significantly lowered before repair, increased after surgery, but fell again over time; thus, mean LV diameters were significantly lower than normal population means at all times. LV diameter z-scores correlated negatively with RV dilation and degree of PR. Notably, they were significantly higher in patients with previous shunts. After pulmonary valve replacement, LV diameter z-scores recovered to normal, whereas RV diameter z-scores remained abnormal.ConclusionOur results confirm progressive adverse RV–LV interaction in the long-term post-operative follow-up of TOF. The use of z-scores facilitated the analysis of time courses of LV and RV diameters.

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