Right and left ventricular function was assessed in 25 children (mean age at study 12.2 years and at operation 2.6 years) after a Mustard repair for transposition of the great arteries. Gated first pass and gated equilibrium radionuclide ventriculography was performed on all patients at rest and during supine bicycle exercise. The mean right ventricular ejection fraction did not increase with exercise by either technique. Individual results for right ventricular ejection fraction showed that with the gated equilibrium technique 71% had an abnormal exercise response (normal response being an increase in ejection fraction greater than 5%) and with the gated first pass technique 61% had abnormal results. Although the mean left ventricular ejection fraction increased significantly with exercise, 35% of patients had an abnormal exercise response with the equilibrium technique and 41% with the first pass technique. There was no evidence of a predictive relation between ventricular function and any clinical or haemodynamic variable examined. Covert right and left ventricular dysfunction can frequently be detected by exercise radionuclide ventriculography in long term survivors of repair for transposition of the great arteries. The prognostic consequences of these findings are unclear at present.
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