Sudden death after repair of double-outlet right ventricle

Win Kuang Shen, David R. Holmes, Co Burn J. Porter, Dwight C. McGoon, Duane M. Ilstrup

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


The outlook for patients with double-outlet right ventricle has improved since the development of corrective operations. Late arrhythmic deaths after successful procedures have been reported; however, the magnitude remains unknown. This study was undertaken to identify the magnitude of late sudden death and the significant factors associated with it. From 1965 through 1985, 118 patients underwent corrective operation for double-outlet right ventricle; of these, 23 died in the hospital and six were lost to follow-up. The 89 remaining patients (52 male and 37 female) made up the study population. Their mean age (±SD) was 10.3±7.8 years at the time of repair. The mean duration of follow-up was 82 months. Of the 22 late deaths, 16 (73%) were sudden. Eight (50%) of the sudden deaths occurred within 1 year of operation. Cox proportional hazards multivariate analysis revealed the following significant risk factors for late sudden death: older age at the time of operation, perioperative or postoperative ventricular tachyarrhythmias, and third-degree atrioventricular block. Factors not associated with late sudden death included year of operation, sex, type and number of associated cardiac anomalies, preoperative functional class, previous palliative procedures, surgical technique, perioperative or postoperative single premature ventricular contractions, and postoperative left or right bundle branch block with or without fascicular block. We conclude that the incidence of late sudden death after successful surgical repair of double-outlet right ventricle is very high. Complete corrective operation at an early age and aggressive diagnosis and treatment of arrhythmias and conduction defects after operation are warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)128-136
Number of pages9
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1990


  • Atrioventricular block
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Sudden death
  • Ventricular arrhythmias

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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