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World J Pediatr Congenit Heart Surg. 2019 Mar;10(2):164-170. doi: 10.1177/2150135118822671.

Single Ventricle Palliation in a Developing Sub-Saharan African Country: What Should be Improved?

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1 Cardio-Thoracic Center, Clínica Girassol, Luanda, Angola.
2 Division of Cardiovascular Surgery, Heart Institute (InCor), Hospital das Clínicas da Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil.
3 Cardiology Department, Hospital Militar Principal/Instituto Superior, Luanda, Angola.
4 Pediatric Cardiology Department, Cardiac Surgery Department, Portuguese Red Cross Hospital, Lisbon, Portugal.



Single ventricle physiology management is challenging, especially in low-income countries.


To report the palliation outcomes of single ventricle patients in a developing African country.


We retrospectively studied 83 consecutive patients subjected to single ventricle palliation in a single center between March 2011 and December 2017. Preoperative data, surgical factors, postoperative results, and survival outcomes were analyzed. The patients were divided by palliation stage: I (pulmonary artery banding [PAB] or Blalock-Taussig shunt [BTS]), II (Glenn procedure), or III (Fontan procedure).


Of the 83 patients who underwent palliation (stages I-III), 38 deaths were observed (31 after stage I, six after stage II, and one after stage III) for an overall mortality of 45.7%. The main causes of operative mortality were multiple organ dysfunction due to sepsis, shunt occlusion, and cardiogenic shock. Twenty-eight survivors were lost to follow-up (22 after stage I, six after stage II). Thirteen stage II survivors are still waiting for stage III. The mean follow-up was 366 ± 369 days. Five-year survival was 28.4 % for PAB and 30.1% for BTS, while that for stage II and III was 49.8% and 57.1%, respectively. Age (hazard ratio, 0.61; 95% confidence interval: 0.47-0.7; P = .000) and weight at surgery (hazard ratio, 0.45; 95% confidence interval: 0.31-0.64; P = .002) impacted survival.


A high-mortality rate was observed in this initial experience, mainly in stage I patients. A large number of patients were lost to follow-up. A task force to improve outcomes is urgently required.


Blalock–Taussig shunt; Fontan procedure; Glenn procedure; pulmonary artery banding; single ventricle

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