Primary surgical closure of large ventricular septal defects in small infants

Ann Thorac Surg. 1992 Mar;53(3):397-401. doi: 10.1016/0003-4975(92)90257-5.


Herein, a policy of primary surgical closure of large ventricular septal defects in infants is reviewed. Forty-eight infants met criteria for inclusion in the study, and were divided into two groups based on weight: group 1 infants weighted 4 kg or less (n = 23), and group 2 infants weighed more than 4 kg (n = 25). Both groups had similar variation in ventricular septal defect location (paramembranous versus muscular) and number (single versus multiple), as well as incidence of major associated extracardiac diseases. No early deaths occurred in group 1, compared with 1 infant (4%) in group 2. Major complications occurred similarly in both groups (9% versus 12%). There were two late deaths in group 1 (9%) and none in group 2. No surviving patients have required a second ventricular septal defect operation, and the majority no longer receive anticongestive therapies. These results indicate that primary surgical closure of large ventricular septal defects, even multiple muscular defects, can be performed in very small infants with no difference in mortality or serious complication rates compared with larger infants. Protracted medical efforts to achieve larger size before primary repair and palliative pulmonary artery banding are not necessary.

MeSH terms

  • Body Weight
  • Heart Septal Defects, Ventricular / mortality
  • Heart Septal Defects, Ventricular / pathology
  • Heart Septal Defects, Ventricular / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Methods
  • Postoperative Care
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Reoperation