Postoperative haemodynamic evaluation was performed on 15 patients 7 to 14 years (mean, 11 years) after total intracardiac repair of Fallot's tetralogy. The average age of the patients at the time of postoperative catheterization was 20 years (range 12 to 29) and they were all asymptomatic. Before operation 11 patients were severely cyanosed and disabled and 4 had mild cyanosis with anoxic spells. The cardiac output and right heart pressures were measured at rest and after 5 minutes of submaximal exercise on a bicycle ergometer. It was shown that the degree of residual obstruction of the pulmonary outflow tract was slight and that the right ventricular/pulmonary arterial systolic gradient (RV/PA gradient) exceeded 20 mmHg (2-6 kPa) at rest in only 3 patients. The mean cardiac index at rest was 5-4 l min-1 m-2 which increased to 8-3 l min-1 m-2 during exercise. The response of the cardiac output during exercise was either normal or supranormal in 14 of the 15 patients. In the remaining patient the response was marginally below the normal range. Pulmonary valvular regurgitation was present in 8 patients but there was no detectable difference in the cardiac function of these patients compared with patients with competent pulmonary valves. Six of the patients investigated had also had cardiac catheterizations performed 1 to 4 years after operation. The results of the present study show that remarkably little change has occurred in their haemodynamic status in the intervening years. Though these results are encouraging, further studies are required to determine the eventual outcome of the RV pressure and volume overload.
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