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J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2001 Jul;122(1):154-61.

Long-term results after early primary repair of tetralogy of Fallot.

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Department of Cardiac Surgery, Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.



Early primary repair of tetralogy of Fallot has been routinely performed at Children's Hospital, Boston, since 1972. We evaluated the long-term outcome of this treatment strategy including the influence of a transannular patch.


Fifty-seven patients less than 24 months of age (median 8 months) underwent primary repair of tetralogy of Fallot between January 1972 and December 1977. Thirty-one patients had a transannular patch. Survival and freedom from reintervention were determined by the Kaplan-Meier method with 95% confidence intervals.


There were 8 early deaths, and 1 patient died 24 years after initial repair. Recent follow-up was obtained for 45 of the 49 long-term survivors (92%). Median follow-up was 23.5 years. Ten patients underwent reintervention, 8 of whom underwent relief of right ventricular outflow tract obstruction. Right ventricular outflow tract obstruction occurred in 6 patients without a transannular patch and 2 with a transannular patch (33% vs 6%, P =.04). One pulmonary valve replacement was performed at another institution 20 years after the repair. Forty-one long-term survivors were in New York Heart Association class I and 4 were in class II. Actuarial survival was 86% at 20 years (95% confidence intervals = 80%-92%). Freedom from reintervention was 93% at 5 years (95% confidence intervals = 87%-99%) and 79% at 20 years (95% confidence intervals = 70%-86%). No significant differences were found between patients with and without a transannular patch (survival, P =.34; freedom from reintervention, P =.09, log-rank tests).


Long-term survival is excellent and the freedom from reintervention is satisfactory after early primary repair of tetralogy of Fallot in the 1970s. Use of a transannular patch does not reduce late survival and is associated with a lower incidence of right ventricular outflow tract obstruction.

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