Late pulmonary valve replacement after repair of tetralogy of Fallot

Berent Discigil, Joseph A. Dearani, Francisco J. Puga, Hartzell V. Schaff, Donald J. Hagler, Carole A. Warnes, Gordon K. Danielson

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227 Scopus citations


Background: Pulmonary regurgitation appears to be well tolerated early after repair of tetralogy of Fallot; however, it may result in progressive right ventricular dilatation and dysfunction necessitating eventual valve replacement. Our objective was to review our experience with late pulmonary valve replacement after complete repair of tetralogy of Fallot. Methods and results: A total of 42 patients (16 female and 26 male) were operated on between July 1, 1974, and January 1, 1998. Mean age was 22 years (range 2-65 years). The mean interval between tetralogy repair and pulmonary valve replacement was 10.8 years (range 1.6 months-33 years). Mean follow up was 7.8 ± 6.0 years (maximum 23 years). Indications for pulmonary valve replacement included decreased exercise tolerance in 58%, right heart failure in 21%, arrhythmia in 14%, syncope in 10%, and progressive isolated right ventricular dilatation in 7%. Heterograft prostheses were used in 33 patients and homografts in 9. Five patients underwent isolated pulmonary valve replacement; concomitant procedures performed in 37 patients included tricuspid valve repair/replacement (n = 18), residual ventricular septal defect repair (n = 12), atrial septal defect closure (n = 4), pulmonary artery patch angioplasty (n = 17), and right ventricular outflow tract enlargement (n = 13). One patient died early (2%) of multiorgan failure. There were 6 late deaths, 3 of which were cardiac related. Survival was 95.1% ± 3.4% and 76.4% ± 8.9% at 5 and 10 years, respectively. Functional class of patients was improved significantly; preoperatively, 76% of patients were in New York Heart Association class III-IV, and after pulmonary valve replacement, 97% of surviving patients were in class I-II (P = .0001). Moderate to severe reduction in right ventricular function was noted on preoperative echocardiography in 59% and on late echocardiography in 18% (P = .03). Of the 5 patients who had supraventricular arrhythmias before pulmonary valve replacement, 1 had postoperative recurrence and the arrhythmia is controlled with antiarrhythmic therapy; the other 4 are in normal sinus rhythm at late follow-up. Eight patients subsequently underwent pulmonary valve re-replacement without early mortality at a mean interval of 9.0 ± 4.2 years (range 3.8-16.8 years). Freedom from pulmonary valve re-replacement was 93.1% ± 4.7% and 69.8% ± 10.7% at 5 and 10 years, respectively. The only significant risk factor for re-replacement was young age at the time of the initial pulmonary valve replacement (P = .023). Conclusion: Late pulmonary valve replacement after tetralogy repair significantly improves right ventricular function, functional class, and atrial arrhythmias, and it can be performed with low mortality. Subsequent re-replacement may be necessary to maintain functional improvement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)344-351
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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