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Circulation. 2000 Nov 7;102(19 Suppl 3):III123-9.

What is the optimal age for repair of tetralogy of Fallot?

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Division of Cardiac Surgery and Cardiology, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.



Controversy regarding the timing for the repair of tetralogy of Fallot centers around initial palliation versus primary repair for the symptomatic neonate/young infant and the optimal age for repair of the asymptomatic child. We changed our approach from one of initial palliation in the infant to one of primary repair around the age of 6 months, or earlier if clinically indicated. We examined the effects of this change in protocol and age on outcomes.


The records of 227 consecutive children who had repair of isolated tetralogy of Fallot from January 1993 to June 1998 were reviewed. The median age of repair by year fell from 17 to 8 months (P:<0.01). The presence of a palliative shunt at the time of repair decreased from 38% to 0% (P:<0.01). Mortality (6 deaths, 2. 6%) improved with time (P:=0.02), with no mortality since the change in protocol (late 1995/early 1996). Multivariate analysis for physiological outcomes of time to lactate clearance, ventilation hours, and length of stay, but not death, demonstrated that an age <3 months was independently associated with prolongation of times (P:<0.03). Each of the deaths occurred with primary repair at an age >12 months. The best survival and physiological outcomes were achieved with primary repair in children aged 3 to 11 months.


On the basis of mortality and physiological outcomes, the optimal age for elective repair of tetralogy of Fallot is 3 to 11 months of age.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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