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J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 1995 Sep;110(3):625-32.

Total cavopulmonary connection without the use of prosthetic material: technical considerations and hemodynamic consequences.

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Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, Jikei University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan.


Total cavopulmonary connection with use of an autogenous intraatrial tunnel to create a straight tube between the inferior vena cava and the pulmonary artery was attempted in several types of cardiac anomaly in eight consecutive candidates for the Fontan operation. A small right atrium with an extraordinary location of the inferior vena cava and a short superior vena cava prevented the use of this procedure in two cases. By preserving the crista terminalis and the sinus node and its arteries we prevented the development of postoperative atrial arrhythmias in the short follow-up period, and the P trigger-signal averaged P waves were not different from those of other cardiac anomalies. The proximal stump of the superior vena cava was not incised in any case to enlarge the anastomosis, even when size mismatch between the superior and inferior venae cavae existed, as in a case of bilateral superior venae cavae. Stretching the vessels by approximately 150% was possible and permitted an adequate anastomosis. Cavopulmonary connections via the intraatrial tunnel ensured smooth, nonturbulent, somewhat pulsatile flow without a pressure gradient. We concluded that the creation of an autogenous intraatrial tunnel was possible in many cases without serious complications and that this procedure has potential benefit for the pulmonary circulation in the aspect of pulsatility.

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