Surgical management of aortopulmonary window: a 40-year experience

Backer, C.L.; Mavroudis, C.
May 2002
European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery;May2002, Vol. 21 Issue 5, p773
Academic Journal
Objectives: An aortopulmonary window (APW) is a communication between the pulmonary artery (PA) and the ascending aorta in the presence of two separate semilunar valves. The purpose of this review is to describe the evolution of surgical techniques and results of surgical correction of APW at a single center over a 40-year time period. Methods: Between 1961 and 2001, 22 patients underwent repair of APW. Age ranged from 11 days to 13 years (median 0.3 years). Associated cardiac lesions included interrupted aortic arch (IAA) (four), right PA origin from the aorta (four), ventricular septal defect (three), atrial septal defect (one), tetralogy of Fallot (one), and transposition of the great arteries (one). Mean preoperative pulmonary vascular resistance was 5.4 U/m2 (n=17). Two patients had attempted ligation without cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB), one patient had division and oversewing of the APW between clamps on CPB. Ten patients had the APW divided on CPB with primary aortic closure. Three patients had circulatory arrest for APW division, IAA repair, and anastomosis right PA to main PA. Most recently, six patients have had open transaortic patch closure (one of these had simultaneous arterial switch, one had simultaneous IAA repair). Follow-up in operative survivors ranges from 1 month to 26 years (median 8 years). Results: There were five early deaths and one late death (pulmonary hypertension) in the first 16 patients where the primary strategy was APW division (37% mortality). There have been no deaths in the most recent six patients having transaortic patch closure. The patients with transaortic patch closure at a maximum of 8 years follow-up are demonstrating normal PA and aortic growth. Conclusions: Early correction of APW with a transaortic patch and repair of all other associated cardiac anomalies at the time of diagnosis is advised.


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