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Ann Thorac Surg. 1996 Aug;62(2):419-24.

Twenty-year experience with repair of complete atrioventricular septal defects.

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Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, Milwaukee 53201, USA.



To determine factors predicting mortality and morbidity after repair of complete atrioventricular septal defect, we retrospectively analyzed preoperative, operative, and postrepair factors on the outcome of 115 consecutive complete atrioventricular septal defect repairs at The Children's Hospital of Wisconsin between January 1974 and December 1993.


For the entire experience the operative mortality was 13.9% (16 patients). During the most recent era, January 1988 to December 1993, operative mortality was 3.6% (2 of 55 patients). This was significantly improved from the two previous eras, January 1974 to December 1980, 28% (7 of 25) and January 1981 to December 1987, 20% (7 of 35 patients) (p = 0.02). There were seven late deaths; 10-year actuarial survival, including operative mortality was 81%. Age at complete repair decreased; before 1982 all patients were more than 12 months of age, whereas after 1982 64% (56 of 88 patients) were 12 months of age or less.


Moderate or severe preoperative left atrioventricular valve regurgitation was not a risk factor for operative mortality. For operative survivors with moderate to severe preoperative left atrioventricular valve regurgitation (n = 17), late postoperative left atrioventricular valve regurgitation (follow-up data available on 15 patients) was significantly reduced (severe = 1, moderate = 5, mild = 9; p = 0.007).


Early mortality was predicted by the era of surgical repair. Conversion to routine repair during infancy was achieved with a simultaneous decrease in operative mortality. For patients with moderate to severe preoperative left atrioventricular valve regurgitation, significant improvement in the degree of left atrioventricular valve regurgitation can be expected without an increase in operative or late mortality or morbidity.

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