BACKGROUND--Progressive pulmonary vascular disease in surgically unrepaired transposition of the great arteries with or without ventricular septal defect had been frequently described in the past. Occurrence of progressive pulmonary vascular disease has been reported even after atrial switch procedure done at three months of age. With the advent of neonatal surgical repair, this problem is virtually non-existent. There is a small subgroup of infants with transposition of the great arteries who show pulmonary vascular disease in the neonatal period that can adversely affect the surgical outcome. The clinico-pathological correlation in this group of patients was studied. OBSERVATIONS--Three patients, with transposition of the great arteries and intact ventricular septum, who showed histological evidence of pulmonary vascular disease in the neonatal period or early infancy are described. Two of these patients, continued to have poor systemic oxygenation despite adequate atrial communication. One patient had a close ductus arteriosus within the first two hours of birth while on prostaglandin E1 infusion. CONCLUSIONS--In the absence of left ventricular outflow tract obstruction, a poor response to atrial septostomy suggests pulmonary hypertension and pulmonary vascular disease. Antenatal constriction of the ductus arteriosus may contribute to such changes in pulmonary vasculature.
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