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Pediatr Cardiol. 2010 Nov;31(8):1191-7. doi: 10.1007/s00246-010-9788-4. Epub 2010 Sep 17.

Unobstructive total anomalous pulmonary venous return: impact of early elective repair on the need for prolonged mechanical ventilatory support.

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Department of Pediatrics, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI 53226, USA.


Optimal timing for elective repair of total anomalous pulmonary venous return (TAPVR) in the case of an unobstructed anomalous pathway is unclear. All infants with a diagnosis of TAPVR as an isolated lesion who underwent surgical repair at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin from 1991 to 2007 were reviewed to assess location of drainage, presence of obstruction, age at presentation, age at surgery, death, need for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), length of hospital stay, length of mechanical ventilation (MV), and late pulmonary venous obstruction. A total of 65 patients were identified: 38 (59%) with supracardiac drainage, 10 (15%) with cardiac drainage, 11 (17%) with infracardiac drainage, and 6 (9%) with mixed drainage. For 39 (60%) of the 65 patients, obstruction was identified preoperatively. Three early and five late deaths occurred after surgery (12%), all involving patients with preoperative obstruction. Most of the late deaths (80%) involved patients who experienced recurrent obstruction. Of the 65 patients, 26 (40%) had no obstruction preoperatively, and none died, required ECMO support, or experienced late obstruction. For the 26 patients without obstruction, the timing of surgery was elective at the discretion of the supervising cardiologist. Among these 26 patients, 15 had surgery less than 10 days after presentation (median age, 18 days), and 53% of these 15 patients (8/15) had MV less than 5 days. In contrast, all 11 patients who had elective surgery more than 10 days after presentation (median age, 56 days) required MV for more than 5 days (p = 0.007). Isolated TAPVR appears to be at the highest risk for death and late postoperative obstruction when obstruction is present preoperatively. Patients with unobstructive TAPVR do very well, but potential morbidity related to prolonged MV appears to be significantly reduced by early elective surgery.

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