Cardiac catheterization data from 54 investigations after Mustard's procedure were examined to study the influence of the operation on pressure events in the atria, great veins, and pulmonary circulation. Systemic venous atrial pressure tracings were characterized by a rapid, sharp 'y' descent. Pressure gradients between the venae cavae and systemic venous atrium were invariable, whether or not vena caval pathway obstruction was present, the 'y' trough and 'a' wave gradients being greater than the mean gradient. Pulmonary venous atrial pressure tracings were not different from normal except when tricuspid regurgitation was present. It is suggested that the baffle effectively reduces the size and compliance of the systemic venous atrium, but influences the pulmonary venous atrium to a lesser degree. The systolic pressure gradient from the left ventricle to pulmonary artery was decreased postoperatively, suggesting that it may be flow-related; the greatest changes were seen in the group with preoperative ventricular septal defect. The ratio of pulmonary: systemic vascular resistance did not change significantly after operation, and it is suggested that both the pre- and postoperative values were higher than normal. Examination of the left ventricular or pulmonary arterial mean pressure postoperatively should raise the suspicion of a complication, e.g. pulmonary venous obstruction or tricuspid regurgitation.
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