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Pediatr Cardiol. 2010 Nov;31(8):1176-85. doi: 10.1007/s00246-010-9783-9. Epub 2010 Sep 5.

Ventriculocoronary artery connections with the hypoplastic left heart: a 4-year prospective study: incidence, echocardiographic and clinical features.

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The Heart Institute for Children, Hope Children's Hospital, Oak Lawn, IL 60453, USA.


Ventriculocoronary connections (VCCs), also called sinusoids, occur with hypoplastic left heart (HLH). Previous reports are limited to case reports, pathologic series, and surgical series with limited detail, which may underestimate the incidence and overestimate the severity of VCCs in HLH. A study was conducted to determine the incidence VCCs in HLH, their effect on survival, and their echocardiographic and clinical features. The echocardiograms and medical records of 100 consecutive neonatal HLH cases were analyzed. All had an aortic and a mitral valve diameter and a left ventricular (LV) volume less than Z-3. For palliation, Norwood, Sano, or hybrid procedures were used, and if the patient was alive, subsequent bidirectional Glenn and extracardiac Fontan procedures were applied. Cases were classified as manifesting mitral and aortic atresia (MAAA), mitral and aortic stenosis (MSAS), or mitral stenosis and aortic atresia (MSAA). All other diagnoses or any case with additional cardiac anomalies were excluded from the study. Overall, VCCs were found in 15% of the cases. They occurred in 56% of the MSAA subtype cases and were not statistically associated with a high mortality rate. However, in one case, large and multiple VCCs definitely caused or contributed to early death. All VCCs had a transmyocardial course, a turbulent color-Doppler flow, and a dominant usually retrograde systolic coronary artery flow pattern. The VCCs were associated (p < 0.05) with MSAA, endocardial fibroelastosis, and ascending aortic size less than 2 mm. As shown by the findings, 15% of the HLH patients had MSAA with VCCs. Unless the VCCs were large or extensive, they did not contribute to mortality. Detailed echocardiographic analysis of VCCs in HLH was feasible. Recent reports emphasize more severe cases.

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