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Ann Thorac Surg. 2006 Jan;81(1):224-9; discussion 229-30.

Caval division technique for sinus venosus atrial septal defect with partial anomalous pulmonary venous connection.

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Department of Surgery, Indiana University School of Medicine, James Whitcomb Riley Hospital for Children, Indianapolis, Indiana 46202, USA.



Repair of sinus venosus atrial septal defect (ASD) with high partial anomalous pulmonary venous connection (PAPVC) using an internal patch may be complicated by obstruction of the superior vena cava (SVC) or pulmonary veins, or both, and sinus node dysfunction. In cases in which the anomalous veins insert more than 2 cm above the cavoatrial junction, we have adopted the technique of caval division in which the SVC is divided and the proximal end is anastomosed to the right atrial appendage, and the distal SVC serves as a conduit for pulmonary venous drainage to the left atrium through the ASD. We retrospectively compare the results of the internal patch repair versus the Warden technique.


Between 1991 and 2004, 54 patients diagnosed with sinus venosus ASD and PAPVC have undergone repair at our institution. Mean age was 13.4 years (range, 1.5 to 58). Thirteen patients (24%) had high insertion of anomalous veins and underwent the Warden technique. Follow-up averages 4.3 years (range, 1 to 13).


There were no early or late deaths. All patients remain in normal sinus rhythm. Twelve of the 13 patients with Warden procedure have had postoperative echocardiograms, and 11 of these patients showed no evidence of SVC or pulmonary venous obstruction. In 1 patient, symptomatic pulmonary venous obstruction developed and required revision of a contracted intra-atrial pericardial baffle.


Caval division for treatment of high PAPVC appears to be safe and is associated with low morbidity and mortality. The Warden procedure is an effective surgical option for patients undergoing correction of high PAPVC.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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