Six patients with anomalous origin of one pulmonary artery from the ascending aorta were reviewed. Four had anomalous origin of the right pulmonary artery and two had anomalous origin of the left pulmonary artery from the ascending aorta. Two of these six patients had tetralogy of Fallot. Two patients died in the first month of life. No changes in the pulmonary vasculature were seen at necropsy. Corrective surgery was attempted in two patients with associated tetralogy of Fallot when they were two years old but both died. At necropsy there was severe pulmonary vascular disease in the lung supplied by the anomalous pulmonary artery but no pulmonary vascular hypertensive changes in the lung supplied by the pulmonary artery from the right ventricle. Two recent patients underwent successful anastomosis of the anomalous pulmonary artery to the main pulmonary artery at three months and one month and three weeks of age respectively. Intraoperative lung biopsy in the latter patient showed early changes in both lungs. Both echocardiography and cardiac catheterisation were used in the diagnoses. Systemic or suprasystemic pressures were found in the pulmonary artery arising from the right ventricle as well as the anomalous pulmonary artery in the three patients without tetralogy of Fallot. Anomalous origin of a pulmonary artery from the ascending aorta is a distinct entity and differs from other aorto-pulmonary arterial connections. Early surgical intervention is recommended in all patients (including those patients with associated tetralogy of Fallot) because of the risk of rapid development of irreversible pulmonary vascular disease.
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