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Do patients over 40 years of age benefit from surgical closure of atrial septal defects?
  1. M Jemielity,
  2. W Dyszkiewicz,
  3. L Paluszkiewicz,
  4. B Perek,
  5. P Buczkowski,
  6. A Poniz˙yński
  1. Department of Cardiac Surgery, Institute of Cardiology, Karol Marcinkowski University of Medical Sciences, Poznań, Poland
  1. Dr Jemielitymjemielity{at}


OBJECTIVE To determine the value of surgical closure of atrial septal defects in patients over 40 years of age.

METHODS Retrospective analysis of 76 patients (63 women, 13 men), age range 40–62 years (mean (SD) 45.8 (5.1) years), who underwent surgical repair of atrial septal defect. Pre- and postoperative clinical status (New York Heart Association (NYHA) functional class) was assessed, and ECG,x ray, and echocardiographic investigations performed. Follow up was between 1 and 17 years.

RESULTS One operative and one late death occurred during the study period. Before operation, 47 patients (61.8%) were in NYHA functional classes III and IV. After operation, 61 patients (82.4%) were in classes I and II. Four patients had atrial fibrillation before surgery versus nine after surgery. Before operation, 52 patients had intensified pulmonary vascularity compared with only seven after operation. Echocardiographic examination showed a significant reduction in right ventricular dimension (4.10 (0.91)v 2.95 (0.36) cm, p < 0.001). No residual intracardiac shunts were identified on echocardiographic follow up.

CONCLUSIONS Surgical closure of atrial septal defects in patients over 40 years old can improve their clinical status and prevent right ventricular dilatation and insufficiency.

  • atrial septal defect
  • cardiac surgery

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