Objectives: We compared the acute effects on right ventricular haemodynamics of surgical versus transcatheter closure of medium-sized atrial septal defects.
Methods: We studied 47 consecutive patients with a defect in the oval fossa and a ratio of pulmonary to systemic flows between 1.5: 1 and 2: 1. They were divided into two groups according to whether the defects were closed by surgery, performed in 23 patients, or by interventional catheterization, achieved in 24 patients. By means of transthoracic cross-sectional echocardiography, we measured right ventricular end-diastolic and endsystolic volumes and calculated ejection fractions. These calculations were performed before, and between 1 and 7 days after closure of the defect.
Results: Before closure of the defect, all patients had an enlarged right ventricle with normal function. After closure by either method, there was no difference in the rate of normalization of end-diastolic volume, but endsystolic volume remained enlarged. Thus, the calculated ejection fraction was lower than before closure.
Conclusions: There was no difference in right ventricular volumes or function early after closure of atrial septal defects, irrespective of whether this was achieved surgically or via transcatheter closure.