Background: Indications for surgical pulmonary valve replacement (PVR) after repair of tetralogy of Fallot have recently been broadened to include asymptomatic patients.
Methods and results: The outcomes of PVR in adults after repair of tetralogy of Fallot at a single tertiary center were retrospectively studied. Preoperative cardiopulmonary exercise testing was included. Mortality was the primary outcome measure. In total, 221 PVRs were performed in 220 patients (130 male patients; median age, 32 years; range, 16-64 years). Homografts were used in 117 patients, xenografts in 103 patients, and a mechanical valve in 1 patient. Early (30-day) mortality was 2%. Overall survival was 97% at 1 year, 96% at 3 years, and 92% at 10 years. Survival after PVR in the later era (2005-2010; n=156) was significantly better compared with survival in the earlier era (1993-2004; n=65; 99% versus 94% at 1 year and 98% versus 92% at 3 years, respectively; P=0.019). Earlier era patients were more symptomatic preoperatively (P=0.036) with a lower preoperative peak oxygen consumption (peak Vo₂; P<0.001). Freedom from redo surgical or transcatheter PVR was 98% at 5 years and 96% at 10 years for the whole cohort. Peak Vo₂, E/CO2 slope (ratio of minute ventilation to carbon dioxide production), and heart rate reserve during cardiopulmonary exercise testing predicted risk of early mortality when analyzed with logistic regression analysis; peak Vo₂ emerged as the strongest predictor on multivariable analysis (odds ratio, 0.65 per 1 mL·kg⁻¹·min⁻¹; P=0.041).
Conclusions: PVR after repair of tetralogy of Fallot has a low and improving mortality, with a low need for reintervention. Preoperative cardiopulmonary exercise testing predicts surgical outcome and should therefore be included in the routine assessment of these patients.
Keywords: exercise test; heart defects, congenital; surgery; survival; tetralogy of Fallot.