A MODIFIED REPAIR TECHNIQUE FOR TRICUSPID INCOMPETENCE IN EBSTEIN'S ANOMALY

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Abstract

Objective:

A modified technique for tricuspid valve repair in Ebstein's anomaly restructures the valve mechanism at the level of the true tricuspid anulus by using the most mobile leaflet for valve closure without plication of the atrialized chamber. Midterm results of this therapeutic approach for patients with Ebstein's anomaly and tricuspid valve incompetence are reported.

Methods:

Between October 1988 and April 1997, the incompetent tricuspid valve was repaired with our technique in 19 patients (12 female, 7 male; 2 to 54 years, mean 21 years). The indication for operation was congestive heart failure of various degrees in all patients. Tricuspid incompetence was grade II in two patients, grade III in 14, and grade IV in three. Associated congenital malformations were simultaneously repaired (interatrial communication in 18, ventricular septal defect in two, pulmonary stenosis in two, mitral valve prolapse in one). Follow-up ranged between 10 and 103 months (median 28 months) and was complete for all patients.

Results:

There were no operative deaths. One patient with active endocarditis and pulmonary abscess died 2 months after the operation of recurrent sepsis; there were no late deaths. During follow-up, New York Heart Association functional class improved from 2.8 before the operation to 1.9 without recurrent cyanosis, and tricuspid incompetence decreased from a mean grade of 3.1 to one of 0.9, without any echocardiographic deterioration of the tricuspid valve function or right ventricular dilation.

Conclusions:

Our technique allows tricuspid valve repair in patients with Ebstein's anomaly, even in cases usually reserved for primary valve replacement, without late functional deterioration.

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