Ann Thorac Surg 1997;63:1321-1325
© 1997 The Society of Thoracic Surgeons
Department of Cardiovascular and Pediatric Cardiac Surgery, Marie Lannelongue Hospital, Paris-Sud University, Paris, France
Accepted for publication November 26, 1996.
Background. Bidirectional superior vena cava-pulmonary shunt is widely used as an interim palliation for patients with univentricular hearts. Bidirectional inferior vena cava-pulmonary artery shunt, as an alternative approach of partial Fontan circulation, may offer the advantage of performing the complete Fontan circulation more easily due to the already constructed inferior vena cava lateral tunnel.
Methods. We used bidirectional inferior vena cava-pulmonary artery shunt in 2 patients. Contraindications to a complete Fontan circulation were due to, respectively, a volume-overloaded systemic ventricle and an irregular pulmonary arterial tree.
Results. Postoperative courses were uneventful. There were no significant pleural effusions. Transcutaneous oxygen saturations were 77% and 78%. Pulmonary-to-systemic blood flow ratios were 0.57 and 0.63. A complete Fontan circulation was safely performed 8 and 12 months later, without any "Fontan-related" complications.
Conclusions. Bidirectional inferior vena cava-pulmonary artery shunt can be useful in selected patients with univentricular hearts, although its place in the field of "partial Fontan operations" cannot be determined as yet.
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