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Eur J Cardiothorac Surg. 2000 Jun;17(6):624-30.

Reconstruction of the RVOT with valved biological conduits: 25 years experience with allografts and xenografts.

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German Heart Center Munich, Department of Cardiac Surgery, Lazarettstrasse 36, D-80636, M√ľnchen, Germany.



The reconstruction of the RVOT in congenital heart disease often requires the implantation of a valved conduit. Although allografts are considered the conduit of choice their availability is limited and therefore xenografts are implanted as well. We compared the long-term durability of both grafts in the RVOT over a 25-year period.


Between January 1974 and August 1999, 505 patients (median age 4.0 years, range 2 days-31 years; median weight 14.5 kg, range 2.2-76.6 kg; median body length 103 cm, range 48-183 cm) with congenital malformations (PA 25.3%, TOF 14.5%, TOF+PA 2.4%, DORV 4.2%, TGA+PS 8.7%, TAC 24.8%, and other 20.2%) received their first valved conduit (174 xenografts: median diameter 14 mm, range 8-27 mm; 331 allografts: median diameter 19 mm, range 8-30 mm).


Follow-up is 3017 patient-years. The 10-year survival-probability for all patients. was 66% with a mean reoperation-free interval for conduit-exchange of 13.3 years (mean reoperation-free interval for allografts, 16.0 years; mean reoperation-free interval for xenograft, 10.3 years). One hundred and thirteen patients underwent a conduit-exchange, mostly due to conduit stenosis. Fourteen patients had a second exchange and three patients a third exchange. For patients with conduit diameters <18 mm (n=235: allograft n=116, xenograft n=119; median age 9 months, range 0-27.3 years), the mean reoperation-free interval was 11.2 years (mean interval allograft, 13.1 years; mean interval xenograft, 8.6 years, P=0.03). For conduit diameters >/=18 mm (n=270: allograft n=215, xenograft n=55, median age 7.4 years, range 0-34.3 years) the mean interval from freedom of conduit exchange was 15.1 years (for allografts 14.1 years, for xenografts 12.5 years, P<0.01). Comparing xenografts to allografts, we found no difference in patient survival probability (P=0.62). There was no significant difference between antibiotic (n=198) preserved vs. cryopreserved (n=133) allografts (P=0.06). Blood group compatibility of allografts to recipients had no significant influence on allograft function (P=0.42). The donors allograft origin, whether aortic or pulmonary valve, had also no significant influence on allograft long-term function (P=0.15).


For the reconstruction of the right ventricular outflow tract (RVOT) allografts show significantly better long-term durability than xenografts regardless of the age at implantation and the diameter.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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