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Congenital heart disease
Stenting of the right ventricular outflow tract in the symptomatic infant with tetralogy of Fallot


Background: Repair of neonatal tetralogy of Fallot (TOF) has low mortality. Debate continues regarding the initial management of cyanotic or duct-dependent infants with TOF and adverse risk factors. While repair can and has been performed in these patients, it is associated with increased morbidity.

Objective: We review the effectiveness of right ventricular outflow tract (RVOT) stenting in the symptomatic young infant with TOF.

Methods: Clinical, echocardiographic, angiographic and haemodynamic data were reviewed for nine patients who underwent 11 RVOT stenting procedures from October 1994 to August 2007.

Results: The pulmonary valve was deemed unsalvageable in all patients (median valve diameter 3.7 mm (range 2.7–4.2), Z-score −6.7 (range −9.7 to −5.4). RVOT stenting improved arterial oxygen saturation from a median of 73% (60–85%) to 94% (90–98%) (p = 0.008). Median Z-score for the left pulmonary artery increased from −4.9 (−7.8 to −2.4) before stent implantation to −1.5 (−4.2 to −0.2) (p = 0.02) before surgical repair. Median Z-score for the right pulmonary artery increased from −3.7 (−6.8 to −1.9) to −0.8 (−2.5 to 0.1) (p = 0.008). Median Nakata index increased from 56 mm2/m2 (21–77) to 150 mm2/m2 (123–231) (p = 0.008). There were no procedural complications. Six patients have undergone successful repair. There were no deaths.

Conclusions: In the symptomatic young infant with TOF, stenting of the RVOT provides a safe and effective management strategy, improving arterial oxygen saturation and encouraging pulmonary artery growth.

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