Postoperative hemodynamics in children with polytetrafluoroethylene shunts.
Twenty-two consecutive infants and children underwent aortopulmonary shunt operations with polytetrafluoroethylene grafts. Thirteen infants younger than 6 months of age (group I) received 14 grafts (4--5 mm in diameter, 0.5--2.5 cm long). Two shunts became obstructed, including kinking in the single 2.5-cm graft. Eight of the nine long-term survivors had pulmonary artery pressures measured a mean of 14 months postoperatively. In all infants, pulmonary resistance was normal and mean pulmonary artery pressure was less than or equal to 20 mm Hg, except in the infant with a 5-mm graft. In nine children 7 months to 15 years of age (group 2), the rate of graft occlusion was higher (five of nine). There was no evidence of pulmonary artery distortion secondary to shunt placement in either group. On late follow-up, blood hemoglobins were less than 20 g% as late as 30 months of age; acceptable palliation may be expected until at least 2 years of age and 12 kg in weight are reached. We conclude that short, 4-mm-diameter polytetrafluoroethylene grafts provide good palliation in infants with cyanotic congenital heart disease, with minimal risks from pulmonary hypertension or pulmonary artery distortion. Such grafts are less successful in older children, and should only be considered when other forms of surgical relief are not feasible.
Kulik, TJ; Foker, JE; Lucas, RV; Anderson, RW; Lock, JE
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