Common arterial trunk: review of surgical strategies and future research

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Abstract

Common arterial trunk is a congenital malformation that is relatively uncommon, representing 0.21–0.34% of congenital heart disease. Natural history, if not treated, leads to early death. Cardiac surgery has been modifying its natural course during the last 30 years by prolonging the lifespan of patients affected. Despite surgical mortality improvements over the last 10 years, morbidity still remains high, mainly due to the age of the patient, associated heart lesions, the evolution of truncal valve function and the type of conduit used for pulmonary artery reconstruction. Common arterial trunk disease still represents a significant challenge for cardiac surgeons and cardiologists regarding attempts to improve long-term outcomes and quality of life. Promising results may be achieved in the next 5 years by the tissue valve-engineering technology applied to search for the ideal conduit on the right ventricular outflow tract. This research has already started in many centers in order to reduce several unavoidable reinterventions nowadays. In this review, we will comment on the situation, focusing on the latest surgical innovations of the last 5 years.

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