Longitudinal Changes in Right Ventricular Function in Tetralogy of Fallot in the Initial Years after Surgical Repair

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Abstract

Background:

Right ventricular (RV) dysfunction is associated with adverse long-term outcomes in patients with tetralogy of Fallot. Little is known about RV function in the first years after surgical repair. The aim of this study was to investigate perioperative changes in myocardial deformation using global longitudinal strain.

Methods:

A retrospective analysis of patients with surgically repaired tetralogy of Fallot was performed. Global longitudinal peak systolic RV strain was measured on early postoperative echocardiograms, two subsequent postoperative echocardiograms through 2 years postoperatively, and preoperative echocardiograms, when available. Preoperative and late follow-up strain was compared with strain in 0- to 8-month-old and 1- to 4-year-old control subjects, respectively.

Results:

Forty-seven patients were included. Compared with postoperative strain (7 ± 7 days postoperatively), strain at follow-up 1 (8.3 ± 4 months postoperatively) was significantly improved (−12.3 ± 3.3% vs −18.8 ± 2.5%, P < .001), with no additional improvement 23.2 ± 6 months postoperatively (−18.8 ± 2.5% vs −19.8 ± 3.1%, P = .12). Postoperative strain was worse than preoperative strain (n = 25, −12.5 ± 3.6% vs −18.4 ± 2.9%, P < .001). Compared with control subjects, preoperative strain was similar (−19.3 ± 3.8% vs −18.4 ± 2.9%, P = .30), though late follow-up strain was significantly worse (−27.7 ± 2.8% vs −19.8 ± 3.1%, P < .001).

Conclusions:

RV global longitudinal strain worsens in the early postoperative period following surgical repair of tetralogy of Fallot but recovers through 2 postoperative years. Despite recovery to preoperative values, the presence of RV dysfunction compared with control subjects suggests that long-term dysfunction may begin early. The trajectory of RV dysfunction through the later years needs further study.

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