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J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2011 Dec;142(6):1367-73. doi: 10.1016/j.jtcvs.2011.02.047. Epub 2011 Jun 24.

The evolving role of intraoperative balloon pulmonary valvuloplasty in valve-sparing repair of tetralogy of Fallot.

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



The late morbidity of pulmonary regurgitation has intensified the interest in valve-sparing repair of tetralogy of Fallot. This study reviewed a single institution's experience with valve-sparing repair and investigated the role of intraoperative balloon valvuloplasty.


A retrospective chart review identified 238 patients who underwent complete primary repair of tetralogy of Fallot at less than 180 days of age. Patients were divided into 4 groups on the basis of the type of right ventricular outflow tract repair: transannular patch (n = 111), commissurotomy or standard rigid dilation (n = 71), intraoperative balloon pulmonary valvuloplasty (n = 32), or no valvar intervention (n = 24).


Baseline demographic and anatomic factors differed among the 4 procedural groups with substantial overlap. Among 142 patients with pulmonary valve hypoplasia (z score, -2 to -4), 37% had valve-sparing repair. These patients had significant annular growth over time: z score increased 0.67 and 1.00 per year in the intraoperative balloon valvuloplasty (P < .001) and traditional valve-sparing (P < .001) groups, respectively. Rates of valve growth did not differ across groups, but z scores were 0.58 lower for the balloon valvuloplasty group across all time points (P = .001). Freedom from reintervention and surgery was shorter for the balloon valvuloplasty group than for the other groups (P < .001).


Patients with tetralogy of Fallot and pulmonary valve hypoplasia who undergo valve-sparing repair with intraoperative balloon valvuloplasty have significant longitudinal annular growth, with normalization of annular size over time. Despite application in patients with more hypoplastic valves, balloon valvuloplasty resulted in similar valve growth and pulmonary regurgitation as traditional methods, but higher rates of reintervention. Although the precise role of this technique needs further refinement, it is likely to be most useful in patients with moderate pulmonary stenosis and moderate pulmonary valve dysplasia.

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