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Indications and timing of pulmonary valve replacement after tetralogy of Fallot repair.

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  • 1Department of Cardiology, Children's Hospital Boston, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Surgical management of tetralogy of Fallot results in anatomic and functional abnormalities in the majority of patients. Although right ventricular volume load due to severe pulmonary regurgitation can be tolerated for years, there is now evidence that the compensatory mechanisms of the right ventricular myocardium ultimately fail and that if the volume load is not eliminated or reduced the dysfunction might be irreversible. In light of that data and with better understanding of risk factors for adverse outcomes late after tetralogy of Fallot repair, many centers are now recommending early pulmonary valve replacement before symptoms of heart failure develop. This article reviews the pathophysiology of chronic right ventricular volume load after tetralogy of Fallot repair and the risks and benefits of pulmonary valve replacement. Finally, recommendations for timing and indications for pulmonary valve replacement are given.

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