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Neurohormonal activation late after cavopulmonary connection


OBJECTIVE To determine whether patients with cavopulmonary connection have higher levels of vasoactive/water-salt regulating hormones and if so, whether hormone levels are related to postoperative haemodynamics and postoperative follow up.

DESIGN Cross sectional study.

SETTING University hospital.

PATIENTS 20 patients (New York Heart Association functional class I–II), mean age 11 years (range 4 to 22), were studied at a mean of 2 years (0.5 to 6) after a total cavopulmonary connection (TCPC, n = 12) or a bidirectional Glenn anastomosis (BDG, n = 8).

INTERVENTIONS Cardiac catheterisation was performed and blood samples were drawn. Control blood samples were drawn from 33 healthy children, mean age 12 years (6 to 16).

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES Plasma levels of angiotensin II, renin, aldosterone, arginine, vasopressin, atrial natriuretic factor (ANF), brain natriuretic peptide (BNP).

RESULTS All neurohormones were significantly increased in both TCPC and BDG patients (p < 0.05), with a fourfold increase in angiotensin II, renin, and aldosterone, and a twofold increase in vasopressin, ANF, and BNP (compared with healthy controls). There was no correlation between haemodynamic variables and hormone levels. Angiotensin II and renin were inversely correlated with time to follow up. All subjects over 15 years (n = 5) had normal neurohormonal levels.

CONCLUSIONS Neurohormones were raised for years after successful cavopulmonary operations but lower levels were observed with time on follow up. This supports the hypothesis that neurohormonal activation is primarily related to altered postoperative physiology and that adaptation takes place over time.

  • neurohormones
  • cavopulmonary connection
  • congenital heart disease
  • paediatric cardiology

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