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Ann Thorac Surg. 2004 Aug;78(2):666-72; discussion 672.

Better surgical prognosis for patients with complete atrioventricular septal defect and Down's syndrome.

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Pediatric Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery, Policlinico S. Orsola, University of Bologna, Via Massarenti 9, 40138 Bologna, Italy.



Several studies have shown that Down's syndrome is not a risk factor for biventricular repair of complete atrioventricular septal defects. However, few data are available about the comprehensive outcome of all the cardiac surgical procedures in patients with trisomy 21, including palliative surgery.


This is a retrospective study of 206 consecutive patients who underwent cardiac surgery from January 1992 to January 2002. Data about mortality and morbidity were analyzed and the impact of Down's syndrome was evaluated.


Overall mortality was 7.7%. Actuarial survival was 94% among patients with Down's syndrome versus 86% of the group with normal karyotype (p = 0.12). The presence of unbalanced ventricles was the only independent risk factor affecting survival at multivariate analysis (p < 0.0001). The need for a Norwood type surgery was more frequent among non-Down patients (12.0% vs 1.5%, p = 0.02) as was the prevalence of pulmonary artery banding operations (22.9% vs 9.3%, p = 0.04). Cumulative mortality after palliation was higher in non-Down patients (44% vs 2.9%, p = 0.0001). Freedom from reoperation was lower in the group with normal chromosomes in respect to patients with Down's syndrome (81.4% vs 94.6%, p = 0.04), due to the higher prevalence of anomalies of the mitral valve (4.9% vs 1.8%, p = 0.03) or left ventricular outflow tract (7.3% vs 0%, p = 0.01).


Down patients showed a decreased risk for biventricular repair and lower mortality and morbidity in cases of complex cardiac malformations requiring complex palliative operations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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