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J Am Coll Cardiol. 1997 Jan;29(1):202-6.

Coronary artery obstruction after the arterial switch operation for transposition of the great arteries in newborns.

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Service de Cardiologie Pédiatrique, Hôpital Necker/Enfants-Malades, Paris, France.



We sought to describe a large series of coronary artery obstructions after the arterial switch operation for transposition of the great arteries and to discuss their clinical implications.


Aortic root angiography and myocardial perfusion imaging yield ambiguous results regarding the fate of the coronary artery anastomoses after the arterial switch operation. Late death related to coronary artery obstruction and growth of the translocated coronary arteries are of major concern in these patients.


Selective coronary artery angiography was performed prospectively in a total of 165 children.


A total of 12 coronary occlusions, 8 major stenoses, 6 minor stenoses of the left ostium and 4 stretchings of one coronary artery were identified. Obstructions were more frequent in types D and E (p < 0.001) of the Yacoub and Radley-Smith classification. Coronary obstruction was documented in all patients with electrocardiographic and ultrasound evidence of myocardial ischemia at time of study. Early postoperative ischemia did not predict coronary artery lesion if the patient had fully recovered. Persistent or delayed myocardial ischemia was highly predictive of coronary artery lesions. The incidence of coronary artery obstruction was very high (11 of 35) in patients operated on by a rapidly abandoned technique of single-orifice reimplantation of both coronary artery ostia.


Selective coronary angiography is the most accurate means to assess coronary artery obstruction after the arterial switch operation. Precise diagnosis of coronary artery lesions after this operation will help to elucidate the pathogenesis, develop adequate therapeutic strategies and might indicate how to prevent coronary complications after operation.

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