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Ann Thorac Surg. 1997 Apr;63(4):960-3.

Pulmonary AV malformations after superior cavopulmonary connection: resolution after inclusion of hepatic veins in the pulmonary circulation.

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Division of Cardiology, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, 19104, USA.



A high incidence of pulmonary arteriovenous malformations (PAVMs) has been reported in patients who have polysplenia and congenital heart disease after superior cavopulmonary anastomosis. Interruption of hepatic venous return to the pulmonary circulation is believed to potentiate the development of PAVMs. Surgical inclusion of hepatic flow in the pulmonary circulation may result in their resolution.


We reviewed 3 patients with congenital heart disease and polysplenia in whom PAVMs developed and who had subsequent hepatic vein inclusion in the pulmonary circulation.


Patients underwent superior cavopulmonary connection at a median age of 8 months. The PAVMs were diagnosed at a median duration of 8 months after operation (arterial saturation <75% in room air). Hepatic venous flow was included in the pulmonary circulation at operation. Resolution of PAVMs occurred at a median duration of 7 months after operation (arterial saturation >90% in room air).


Surgical inclusion of hepatic venous blood in the pulmonary circulation results in the resolution of PAVMs. Electively associating the hepatic veins with the pulmonary vasculature may prevent the development of PAVMs in patients who are at risk.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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