Objectives: Postoperative low cardiac output may persist after repair of total anomalous pulmonary venous drainage (TAPVD) because of a relatively small and non-compliant left atrium and left ventricle. We examined the effects of selective vertical vein patency on postoperative hemodynamics. Methods: Thirty-four patients less than 3 months of age with TAPVD were operated from July 1993 to June 2000. The mean age at operation was 21 ± 8 days (range, 3-62 days) and the mean weight was 3 ± 0.2 kg (range, 2-4.1 kg). Supracardiac type drainage was found in 12 (35%), cardiac in three (9%), mixed in one (3%), and infracardiac in 18 (53%) patients. Twenty-two patients (65%) had obstructed venous drainage. All operations were performed with deep hypothermic circulatory arrest. Supracardiac, mixed and infracardiac types were repaired through a posterior approach, whereas, in the cardiac type, the coronary sinus was unroofed and the atrial septal defect was patched. The decision whether to keep the vertical vein open was made at the end of the operation and was based on the hemodynamic state of the patient. Results: There were no operative deaths. The suture on the vertical vein was released in 22 patients who had obstructed pulmonary venous drainage (infracardiac type, n = 18; supracardiac type, n = 3; and mixed type, n = 1), resulting in a significant drop in the left atrial pressure from 19 ± 2 to 12 ± 2 mmHg (P < 0.05), and in the mean pulmonary artery pressure from 42 ± 6 to 35 ± 3 mmHg (P < 0.05), associated with an immediate increase in the mean arterial blood pressure from a mean of 46 ± 3 to 60 ± 4 mmHg (P < 0.05). During a mean follow-up of 38 ± 6 months (range, 8-71 months), there were no late deaths. Follow-up, two-dimensional echocardiography with Doppler studies demonstrated good left ventricular function and trivial or no left to right shunt through the vertical vein in those patients in whom the snare was released. Conclusions: Maintaining the vertical vein patent in a selective group of patients with infracardiac total anomalous venous drainage contributes to a favorable outcome following surgery.
- Obstructed pulmonary venous drainage
- Vertical vein