The management of patients with multiple ventricular septal defects remains controversial. Primary closure, interventional catheter techniques, and palliative surgery all may have a role, and specific management guidelines remain undefined.Methods:
We reviewed the records of all 33 patients with multiple ventricular septal defects undergoing repair between January 1988 and October 1996. Pulmonary artery hypertension was present in 21 patients (group 1), and pulmonary stenosis was present in the remaining 12 (group 2). Closure was accomplished from a right atriotomy alone in most patients, although an apical left ventriculotomy was used for apical defects. Among group 1 patients, the mean age at repair was 5.9 ± 0.9 months. Major associated anomalies included coarctation (n = 6), straddling tricuspid valve (n = 1), and critical aortic stenosis (n = 1). Reoperation was performed in two patients for residual ventricular septal defects. Among group 2 patients, the mean age at repair was 6.6 ± 3.2 years. Major associated anomalies included tetralogy of Fallot (n = 2), pulmonary stenosis (n = 4), double-outlet right ventricle with hypoplastic left ventricle (n = 1), and isolated left ventricular hypoplasia (n = 1). Three required reoperation for residual ventricular septal defect.Results:
There were no early or late deaths, no episodes of heart block, and no significant residual ventricular septal defects among group 1 patients. All group 1 patients remain free of significant residual cardiovascular conditions at a mean of 23.4 ± 5.1 months. Among group 2 patients, there was one early death in a patient with double-outlet right ventricle and left ventricular hypoplasia. Complete heart block occurred in two patients and one required late mitral valve replacement. There were no late deaths, seven remain alive without significant residual defects at a mean of 36.2 ± 8.0 months, and two required transplantation for left ventricular failure.Conclusions:
Primary repair for infants with multiple ventricular septal defects is associated with good late outcomes. The right atrial approach is satisfactory for most muscular defects, although limited apical left ventriculotomy was used for apical defects. Pulmonary artery banding should be limited to patients with complex associated defects.