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Ann Thorac Surg. 1995 May;59(5):1120-5; discussion 1125-6.

Primary bidirectional superior cavopulmonary shunt in infants between 1 and 4 months of age.

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Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, University of California, San Francisco 94134-0118, USA.


The performance of a primary bidirectional superior cavopulmonary shunt procedure in early infancy is attractive because it minimizes the number of operations needed before a Fontan procedure, avoids ventricular volume overload and its sequelae, and eliminates pulmonary artery distortion. However, concerns over elevated or labile pulmonary vascular resistance have limited its use in the first few months of life. Nine patients aged 1 to 4 months (5 patients, < 2 months) have undergone a primary bidirectional superior cavopulmonary shunt procedure between October 1992 and March 1994. Primary diagnoses were tricuspid atresia (n = 4), asplenia syndrome (n = 2), polysplenia syndrome (n = 1), double-outlet right ventricle (n = 1), and double-inlet left ventricle (n = 1). Associated lesions of immediate surgical importance were total anomalous pulmonary veins (n = 2), a restrictive atrial septum (n = 4), bilateral superior venae cavae (n = 5), and patent ductus arteriosus (n = 5). The surgical procedure consisted of unilateral (n = 4) or bilateral (n = 5) bidirectional superior cavopulmonary shunt and the repair of associated lesions. Of significance, in 4 of our first 5 patients a very limited additional source of pulmonary blood flow was provided because of a low arterial oxygen tension immediately after cardiopulmonary bypass. Pleural effusions developed in 2 of these 4 patients. In subsequent patients cardiopulmonary bypass was not used whenever possible or, if it was needed, use of an extra source of pulmonary blood flow was avoided.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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