Objective: We and others have observed significant hyperinflation and airflow obstruction after the surgical repair of pulmonary atresia and ventricular septal defect. This study sought to objectively characterize this problem and determine the prevalence of airway hyperresponsiveness in these patients. Methods: We performed a prospective study of children and young adults with pulmonary atresia and ventricular septal defect between June 1996 and December 1998. The participants were stratified into 2 distinct molecular genotypes on the basis of chromosome 22q11.2 microdeletion. A clinical diagnosis of asthma and an objective assessment of airway hyperresponsiveness were determined by means of an asthma inventory scale and methacholine challenge testing, respectively. Thirty-three patients were enrolled. Thirteen had velocardiofacial syndrome, each with chromosome 22q11.2 microdeletion. Results: None of the nonsyndromic patients had evidence for haploinsufficiency. Overall, 66.7% (22/33) met criteria for a clinical diagnosis of airway hyperresponsiveness: 62% (8/13) from the microdeletion genotype and 70% (14/20) from the nonsyndromic group. Conclusions: We have identified an extremely strong association between pulmonary atresia and ventricular septal defect and persistent airway hyperresponsiveness. Haploinsufficiency at chromosome 22q11.2 did not contribute to this predilection for airway hyperresponsiveness. These results provide a basis to anticipate persistent respiratory difficulties after operations in patients with pulmonary atresia and ventricular septal defect. Moreover, this at-risk patient population may yield unique insights into fundamental mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of airway hyperresponsiveness.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine