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World J Surg. 2010 Apr;34(4):658-68. doi: 10.1007/s00268-009-0296-8.

Tetralogy of fallot: yesterday and today.

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Department of Surgery, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Newark, NJ, 07103, USA.


Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF) is a cyanotic congenital cardiac defect that was first described by Stenson in 1672 and later named for Fallot, who in 1888 described it as a single pathological process responsible for (1) pulmonary outflow tract obstruction, (2) ventricular septal defect (VSD), (3) overriding aortic root, and (4) right ventricular hypertrophy. The surgical history of TOF began with the development of the systemic to pulmonary artery shunt (BT shunt) by Blalock, Taussig, and Thomas in 1944. Ten years later complete repair of TOF was performed by Lillehei using cross-circulation and by Kirklin with a primitive cardiopulmonary bypass circuit. Notable contributions by several other surgeons including Bahnson, Ebert, Malm, Trusler, Barratt-Boyes, and Castaneda would lead us into the modern era of surgery. Today, complete repair of TOF is performed before six months of age with low mortality (<2%). In select cases a modified version of the BT shunt is still performed as the initial procedure. Long-term survival rates are excellent (85%-90%). Adult survivors with TOF are an ever-increasing population and may require reintervention, surgically or catheter based. Promising future innovations include percutaneous pulmonary valve replacement, tissue-engineered autologous valves and conduits, and genetic manipulation. This article presents a review of TOF, including the history of surgical treatment, present-day approaches, and long-term outcomes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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