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Circulation. 1993 Feb;87(2 Suppl):I38-51.

Second natural history study of congenital heart defects. Results of treatment of patients with ventricular septal defects.

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  • 1Division of Pediatric Cardiology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21205.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

From 1958 to 1969, 1,280 patients (mostly children) with ventricular septal defects (VSDs) were admitted to the First Natural History Study of Congenital Heart Defects (NHS-1) after cardiac catheterization. Most with small defects and Eisenmenger's syndrome were managed medically; most with large VSDs were managed surgically. Of those with moderate-size defects, some were managed medically, and some were managed surgically. Most had a second catheterization at the conclusion of NHS-1. More than 15 years have elapsed since NHS-1, and most of the cohort are adults. This report (Second Natural History Study) addresses the long-term results of medical and surgical management.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

Of an original cohort of 1,280 patients, 1,099 were alive at completion of NHS-1. New data were obtained on 976 (76.3%) of the original cohort. Probability of 25-year survival was 87%, and admission severity was the best predictor of survival. Of the 860 patients managed medically during NHS-1, 245 subsequently required surgical closure of the VSD. Only 5.5% of patients who had surgical closure required a second operation. On follow-up, there was a higher-than-normal prevalence of serious arrhythmias. Bacterial endocarditis occurred rarely. Of patients with small VSDs, 94.1% were in New York Heart Association functional class I. With the exception of those with Eisenmenger's syndrome, most patients had a final clinical status that was excellent or good.

CONCLUSIONS:

The majority of patients fared well. However, there was a higher-than-normal prevalence of serious arrhythmia and sudden death, including those with small VSDs.

PMID:
8425321
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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