The unnatural history of pulmonary stenosis up to 40 years after surgical repair

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To provide prospective information on long-term outcome after surgical correction of valvular pulmonary stenosis (PS).


Fifty-three consecutive patients operated for PS during childhood between 1968 and 1980 in one centre are followed longitudinally for 37±3.4 years, including extensive in-hospital examination every 10 years.


Survival information was available in 100% of the original 53 patients. Cumulative survival was 94% at 20 years and 91% at 40 years. Excluding perioperative mortality (<30 days), survival was 94% at 40 years. Of 46 eligible survivors, 29 participated in the in-hospital examination and 15 gave permission to use their hospital records (96% participation). Cumulative event-free survival was 68% after 40 years: 25% needed a reintervention, 12% underwent pacemaker implantation and 9% had supraventricular arrhythmias. Early reinterventions were mainly for residual PS, late reinterventions for pulmonary regurgitation. Subjective health status was good. Exercise capacity was normal in 74% (median 96 (82–107)% of expected workload). Right ventricular and left ventricular (LV) dysfunction was found in 13% and 41%, respectively. The use of a transannular patch and younger age at surgery were predictive for late events (HR 3.02 (95% CI 1.09 to 8.37) and HR 0.81/year (95% CI 0.66 to 0.98), respectively). Use of inflow occlusion compared with cardiopulmonary bypass showed a trend towards more reinterventions (HR 3.19 (95% CI 0.97 to 10.47)).


Survival up to 40 years after successful PS repair is nearly normal. Subjective health status is good and there is a low incidence of arrhythmias. Reinterventions, however, are necessary in one-quarter and 40 years postoperatively several patients show LV dysfunction.

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