Cardiac remodeling and effects on exercise capacity after interventional closure of atrial septal defects in different adult age groups

Clin Res Cardiol. 2010 Mar;99(3):183-91. doi: 10.1007/s00392-009-0105-2.


Background: Interventional closure of atrial septal defects (ASD) has become a standard procedure in pediatric and adult patients. We report immediate and mid-term results in different adult age groups.

Methods: A retrospective analysis of 332 patients undergoing percutaneous ASD closure between 1998 and 2008 was performed. Beside echocardiographic and hemodynamic measurements, the NYHA functional class was assessed before and after ASD closure. The peak oxygen uptake (VO(2peak)) was available in a subgroup of 154 patients.

Results: The different age groups did not differ significantly in shunt volume or defect diameter, but a significant increase could be detected in mean pulmonary arterial pressure, mean left atrial pressure and pulmonary vascular resistance (PVR9 with increasing age). Right ventricular enlargement was present in all age groups, but the degree of enlargement increased with age. Transcatheter ASD closure was successful in 99.4%, major adverse events occurred in four patients (1.2%). At 3 months from closure, 123 patients reported an improvement, 7 of worsening and 163 of no change in their functional capacity. A significant increase in VO(2peak) could be registered in all subgroups after ASD closure. When classified by shunt volume no change could be detected in VO(2peak) in the patients with a Q(p):Q(s) < 2, whereas patients with a Q(p):Q(s) > 2 had a highly significant VO(2peak) increase.

Conclusion: Patients benefit from interventional closure of hemodynamically significant ASD regardless of their age. However, the defect should be repaired as early as possible to prevent hemodynamic complications, such as the development of pulmonary hypertension and cardiac arrhythmias.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Blood Pressure
  • Echocardiography
  • Exercise Test
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Heart Septal Defects, Atrial / surgery*
  • Hemodynamics
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxygen Consumption*
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology
  • Pulmonary Artery / physiopathology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Ventricular Remodeling*
  • Young Adult