The palliation afforded by balloon atrial septostomy to 124 infants with transposition of the great arteries was assessed in terms of survival to 6 months of age without the need for further intervention. Prediction of success or failure in relation to palliation was significantly affected by the presence of associated ventricular septal defect, left ventricular outflow tract obstruction, or persistent ductus arteriosus and by the maximum volume of balloon used to perform the septostomy. There was a significant association between balloon volume and size of atrial defect found at subsequent surgery or necropsy.
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