Surgical indication for congenital heart disease with extremely thickened media of small pulmonary arteries

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Abstract

Background.

Nineteen patients (mean age, 7.6 months) with a percent wall thickness of more than 33% in the small pulmonary arteries were found to have extremely thickened media. Based on our findings, a criterion of operative indication is proposed.

Methods.

The percentage of extremely thickened media of small pulmonary arteries for all pulmonary arteries was determined on microscopic lung sections and was introduced as an index for operative indication.

Results.

Operative repair was performed in 16 patients: 9 died intraoperatively and 7 survived more than 12 months. In 4 of 5 patients that had pulmonary artery banding, medial hypertrophy remained despite pulmonary artery banding. Operative repair also had no positive effect. In operative and late deaths and in survivors without a decrease of pulmonary arterial pressure, the percentage of extremely thickened media of small pulmonary arteries was shown to be more than 10%, whereas in 5 survivors and 1 operative death with a significant postoperative decrease of pulmonary arterial pressure, the value was less than 7%.

Conclusions.

If a patient has less than 7% of small pulmonary arteries with extremely thickened media, operative repair is likely to be effective. When the value is higher than 10%, not only operative repair but also pulmonary artery banding cannot be recommended because of ineffectiveness and hazard.

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