Left Atrioventricular Valve Regurgitation After Repair of Incomplete Atrioventricular Septal Defect

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Excellent surgical results have been reported for repair of incomplete atrioventricular septal defect; however, left atrioventricular valve regurgitation (ltAVVR) is a major cause of late morbidity. We reviewed our entire experience with incomplete atrioventricular septal defect in order to investigate long-term results of ltAVVR after repair and determine the factors influencing the progression of ltAVVR in late follow-up.


Between 1983 and 2002, 61 patients underwent surgical repair of incomplete atrioventricular septal defect, including 7 patients with intermediate forms. The age of operation ranged from 1 month to 62 years old (median 5.3 years old). Thirteen patients were less than 2 years old, including 7 infants, while there were 15 adult patients. All patients underwent patch closure of the ostium primum defect. Before 1995, the cleft was left open in 7 patients and partial closure of the cleft was done in 41 patients, whereas complete closure of the cleft was performed in 9 patients since 1996. Preoperative and postoperative ltAVVR at hospital discharge and late follow-up were graded 0-IV by echographic evaluation.


There was 1 early death and 4 late deaths with a 91% 10-year actuarial survival rate. Preoperative ltAVVR grade was I in 25 patients, II in 31 patients, III in 4 patients, and IV in 1 patient. Postoperatively, ltAVVR deteriorated in 3 patients. Left AVVR decreased in 21 patients, whereas in 37 patients it remained the same at hospital discharge. Consequently, ltAVVR remained grade II in 18 patients, grade III in 2, and there was no patient with grade IV. During the long-term follow-up, 24 patients were noted to have increased ltAVVR, including grade III in 8 patients and grade IV in 4. Reoperations for ltAVVR were required in 5 patients (8.3% of hospital survivors); valve replacement in 3 patients and valve repair in 2. Actuarial freedom from reoperation for ltAVVR was 91% at 10 years, whereas actuarial freedom from postoperative ltAVVR grade III or more was 89% at 5 years and 78% at 10 years. Multivariate analysis indicated that postoperative ltAVVR grade II or more at hospital discharge (p = 0.0032, odds ratio = 7.41, 95%CI: 1.95-28.10) was the only independent variable related to late ltAVVR, whereas age at operation, preoperative grade of ltAVVR, and the method of cleft repair were not significant risk factors.


Left AVVR is still a significant risk in long-term follow-up. Because the postoperative grade of ltAVVR is the only independent risk factor for late ltAVVR, more efforts should be focused on left atrioventricular valve repair so as to minimize residual regurgitation, even mild regurgitation.

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