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Ann Thorac Surg. 1997 Jun;63(6):1676-84.

Bidirectional cavopulmonary shunt in patients with anomalies of systemic and pulmonary venous drainage.

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Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, 94143-0118, USA.



Bidirectional cavopulmonary shunt and Fontan repair are now commonly performed in patients with a variety of forms of complex single ventricle, including those with anomalies of systemic or pulmonary venous return. These anomalies are ideally dealt with during bidirectional cavopulmonary shunt, thereby minimizing the complexity of the eventual Fontan procedure.


Between March 1990 and December 1995, 36 patients with anomalous systemic or pulmonary venous drainage underwent bidirectional cavopulmonary shunt. A combination of anomalous systemic and pulmonary venous drainage was present in 12 patients, whereas 19 patients had anomalous drainage only from the systemic circulation and 5 patients had isolated anomalies of pulmonary venous return. Visceral heterotaxy syndrome was diagnosed in 18 patients. The median age at operation was 11 months, and bidirectional cavopulmonary shunt was the first surgical procedure performed in 10 of these patients. Techniques of repair are described.


There were two early deaths and one bidirectional cavopulmonary shunt was taken down, for mortality and failure rates not significantly different than those for all patients undergoing bidirectional cavopulmonary shunt during this time period (n = 117). At a mean follow-up of 19.9 months, there have been three late deaths and 11 patients have undergone Fontan completion. Actuarial survival was 87% at 1 year and 81% at 3 years. Among all patients undergoing bidirectional cavopulmonary shunt during this time period, neither heterotaxy syndrome nor anomalies of systemic or pulmonary venous return were significantly associated with decreased survival or poor outcome.


Bidirectional cavopulmonary shunt can be performed in patients with anomalous systemic or pulmonary venous drainage, including those with visceral heterotaxy syndrome, with morbidity and mortality rates that do not differ significantly from those achieved in all patients undergoing bidirectional cavopulmonary shunt. In this report, we describe our experience with this group of patients, primarily focusing on outcomes and technical issues that pertain to the use of bidirectional cavopulmonary shunt as a preparatory procedure for the extracardiac conduit Fontan operation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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