Eisenmenger syndrome in adults: ventricular septal defect, truncus arteriosus, univentricular heart

J Am Coll Cardiol. 1999 Jul;34(1):223-32. doi: 10.1016/s0735-1097(99)00153-9.


Objectives: Morbidity and mortality patterns were characterized in adults with the Eisenmenger syndrome when two ventricles with a ventricular septal defect (VSD) joined two great arteries or one great artery, or when one ventricle joined two great arteries.

Background: Although afterload in these disorders differs, clinical differences have not been defined.

Methods: Seventy-seven patients were studied. Group A comprised 47 patients with VSD, aged 23 to 69 years (mean 39.5+/-10.2), follow-up 5 to 18 years (mean 7.2+/-4.9); group B, 14 patients with truncus arteriosus, aged 27 to 50 years (mean 33.7+/-7.3), follow-up 6 to 18 years (mean 7.7+/-5.1), and group C, 16 patients with univentricular heart, aged 18 to 44 years (mean 30.6+/-8.4), follow-up 5 to 15 years (mean 4.4+/-4.2). Echocardiography established the diagnoses and anatomic and hemodynamic features. Data were compiled on tachyarrhythmias, pregnancy, infective endocarditis, noncardiac surgery and the multisystem disorders of cyanotic adults.

Results: Thirty-five percent of the patients died. Sixty-three percent of deaths were sudden, and resulted from intrapulmonary hemorrhage, rupture of either the pulmonary trunk, ascending aorta or a bronchial artery, or vasospastic cerebral infarction, or the cause was unestablished. There were no documented tachyarrhythmic sudden deaths.

Conclusions: Medical management of coexisting cardiac disease, multisystem systemic disorders, noncardiac surgery and pregnancy has reduced morbidity. Increased longevity exposed patients to proximal pulmonary arterial aneurysms, thromboses and calcification; to truncal valve stenosis and regurgitation; to semilunar and atrioventricular valve regurgitation, and to major risks of nontachyarrhythmic sudden death.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Eisenmenger Complex / complications
  • Eisenmenger Complex / mortality*
  • Eisenmenger Complex / pathology
  • Eisenmenger Complex / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Heart Septal Defects, Ventricular / complications
  • Heart Ventricles / abnormalities
  • Hemodynamics
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Morbidity
  • Pregnancy
  • Survival Analysis
  • Truncus Arteriosus, Persistent / complications
  • Ventricular Pressure