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THE JOURNAL OF CARDIOVASCULAR SURGERY
A Journal on Cardiac, Vascular and Thoracic Surgery
Indexed/Abstracted in: BIOSIS Previews, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
Impact Factor 1,632
ORIGINAL ARTICLES CARDIAC PAPERS
The Journal of Cardiovascular Surgery 1999 February;40(1):107-10
Classic Blalock-Taussig shunt in neonates
Yoshimura N., Yamaguchi M., Ohashi H., Oshima Y., Toyoda Y., Ogawa K.
From the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery Kobe Children’s Hospital, Kobe, Japan
Background. The choice of palliative procedure for neonates with congenital cyanotic heart defects remains controversial. Several reports have questioned whether the classic Blalock-Taussig shunt is adequate in neonates, because it shows a high rate of mortality and early shunt failure. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the early and late results of classic Blalock-Taussig shunt in neonates.
Methods. From December 1981 to December 1996, 31 neonates underwent a classic Blalock-Taussig shunt. Mean age at operation was 15.9 days (range, 2 to 28 days), and mean body weight was 3214 g (range, 2229 to 4468 g). The major diagnoses were pulmonary atresia with intact ventricular septum (6 patients) and with ventricular septal defect (4), univentricular heart (6), tricuspid atresia (5), tetralogy of Fallot (4), transposition of the great arteries (3), and double outlet right ventricle (3).
Results. There were no early deaths. There was one early shunt failure. The patient underwent a replacement of Blalock-Taussig shunt by vascular graft on the 1st postoperative day. Two patients with non-confluent central pulmonary artery underwent a contralateral modified Blalock-Taussig shunt on the 22nd and 42nd postoperative day, respectively. There were two late deaths before the definitive repair was performed. Twelve patients required an additional shunt operation. The mean interval between the initial and the second shunt procedure was 27.7 months (range, 6 to 67 months). Ten patients underwent definitive operation and the mean interval to that procedure was 55.5 months (range, 14 to 121 months). Shunt patency was 94.7±5.1% at 3 years. The freedom from cardiac event (cardiac deaths or repeat shunting procedure) was 80.5±7.1% at 1 year and 54.9±9.4% at 3 years.
Conclusions. The classic Blalock-Taussig shunt has a low operative mortality and has provided excellent long-term palliation in the neonate. We conclude that a classic Blalock-Taussig shunt should be considered a reasonable choice in neonates requiring a palliative procedure for congenital cyanotic heart defects.