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Eur Heart J. 2004 Jun;25(12):1057-62.

Outcome of patients after surgical closure of ventricular septal defect at young age: longitudinal follow-up of 22-34 years.

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  • 1Department of Cardiology, Thoraxcenter, Erasmus MC, Dr. Molewaterplein 40, 3015 GD Rotterdam, The Netherlands.



Long-term survival and clinical outcome after surgical closure of a VSD is poorly documented. Such data are important for the future perspectives, medical care, employability, and insurability of these patients.


176 consecutive patients underwent surgical closure of an isolated VSD between 1968 and 1980 in our hospital. A systematic follow-up study was performed in 1990 and again in 2001.


Late survival was poorer than in the general population. Pulmonary hypertension and right ventricular hypertrophy were present in the 4 patients who died suddenly, late after operation. During follow-up no new pulmonary hypertension became manifest. Re-operations were necessary in 6%. Some patients (4%) developed sinus node disease late after repair, requiring pacemaker implantation. At last follow-up (91 survivors) 92% of the patients were in NYHA class I. Pulmonary hypertension was found in 4%, and aorta insufficiency in 16%. Patients experienced difficulties when applying for insurance.


Among patients with surgically repaired VSDs, late results were good, although some late sudden deaths occurred in the patients with pulmonary hypertension. Furthermore, some patients developed sinus node disease late after repair, requiring pacemaker implantation. Employability is good, but pregnancy and insurance matters need further attention.

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