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The feasibility of complete anatomical correction in the setting of discordant atrioventricular connections


OBJECTIVE To evaluate the feasibility of anatomical correction based on morphological and echocardiographic findings in patients and preserved hearts with discordant atrioventricular connections.

DESIGN A retrospective study with clinicomorphological correlations to assess potential contraindications for anatomical correction in the setting of discordant atrioventricular connections.

SETTING A tertiary referral centre for congenital heart disease.

MATERIAL 25 specimens and 53 patients unified by presence of discordant atrioventricular connections.

METHODS The potential contraindications for anatomical correction were first evaluated on the basis of morphological findings in all 25 specimens with discordant atrioventricular connections collected in the department museum, including study of the major coronary arterial patterns in 20. These contraindications were then sought in a population of 53 patients examined echocardiographically between January 1992 and October 1997.

RESULTS At least one lesion was discovered that might have contraindicated anatomical correction in 14 of the specimens and in 16 of the patients. The most common lesions that might militate against the anatomical approach were severe Ebstein’s malformation or straddling and overriding of the tricuspid valve, each when combined with hypoplasia of the morphologically right ventricle. Other potential contraindications were atrioventricular septal defect with common atrioventricular junction, and obstruction of the left ventricular outlet combined with a restrictive ventricular septal defect, although these may be overcome with increasing experience and expertise.

CONCLUSIONS According to the morphological and echocardiographic findings, at least 10 hearts and 37 patients would have produced no anatomical problems for the type of surgical correction in which the morphologically left ventricle is restored its rightful role as the systemic pumping chamber.

  • atrioventricular discordant connections
  • congenitally corrected transposition
  • double switch operation

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