Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Surgical and transcatheter (Amplatzer) closure of atrial septal defects: a prospective comparison of results and cost
  1. J D R Thomson,
  2. E H Aburawi,
  3. K G Watterson,
  4. C Van Doorn,
  5. J L Gibbs
  1. Department of Paediatric Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery, The Yorkshire Heart Centre, Leeds General Infirmary, Great George St, Leeds LS1 3EX, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr J D R Thomson, Department of Paediatric Cardiology, E floor, Jubilee Wing, Leeds General Infirmary, Great George St, Leeds LS1 3EX, UK;


Objective: To compare effectiveness, complications, and cost of Amplatzer with surgical atrial septal defect (ASD) closure.

Design: Prospective study.

Setting: Tertiary cardiac referral centre.

Patients: 43 consecutive patients (excluding non-UK residents) aged between 2.1 and 56.8 years (median 7) undergoing ASD closure.

Main outcome measures: Procedural success, complications, regression of right ventricular dilatation (up to one year postprocedure), cost, inpatient stay, and home convalescent time.

Results: Amplatzer ASD closure was successful in 24 of 27 (89%) patients. Surgical closure was successful in all 19 cases. Cardiac complications affecting management occurred in three (11%) of the Amplatzer group (two procedural failures, one device embolisation) and 4 of 19 (21%) surgical patients (one pericardial pain, one global pericardial effusion requiring drainage, and one patient with anaemia requiring haematinics in addition to an incidental pericardial effusion and one further incidental pericardial effusion) (p = NS). There were complications that did not affect management in a further 5 of 19 surgical patients. There was no significant difference in regression of right ventricular dilatation by six months postprocedure (median right ventricular end diastolic diameter decrease: Amplatzer group 17.5%, surgical group 15.1%; median cardiothoracic ratio decrease: Amplatzer 7.9%, surgical 7.5%). Both hospital stay and home convalescent times were significantly shorter after Amplatzer closure (median hospital stay: Amplatzer one day, surgery six days; median convalescent time: Amplatzer two weeks, surgery 5.5 weeks). Median cost was similar for both groups (Amplatzer £5375, surgical £5412).

Conclusions: Amplatzer ASD closure has a lower chance of success with a single procedure than surgery. Overall, there were more complications in the surgical group but the majority of these were minor and did not require any change in management. Resolution of right ventricular dilatation over the study period was similar for both techniques. Time spent in hospital and away from work or school was shorter for the Amplatzer group. The cost of both techniques was similar.

  • Amplatzer
  • atrial septal defect
  • ASD, atrial septal defect
  • RVEDD, right ventricular end diastolic diameter

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.