Early Complete Atrioventricular Canal Repair Yields Outcomes Equivalent to Late Repair

Ann Thorac Surg. 2015 Jun;99(6):2109-15; discussion 2115-6. doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2015.01.063. Epub 2015 Apr 15.


Background: Repair of complete atrioventricular canal early in infancy has traditionally carried greater morbidity and mortality than repair performed later. However, an individualized anatomy-based repair may give young infants outcomes that are equivalent to older patients.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed 139 patients who underwent complete atrioventricular canal repair from January 2005 to December 2012. An individualized approach was used: 2-patch repair was performed in 98 patients for large ventricular septal defects and a modified single-patch ("Australian technique") was used in 41 for "shallow" ventricular septal defects.

Results: The average age was 25.5 ± 3.9 weeks, 50% were boys, and 78% had trisomy 21. Mean follow-up was 5.1 ± 0.2 years, with 100% completeness of data. There were 3 in-hospital deaths (2.1%) and 1 late death (0.7%). A permanent pacemaker was required in 2 patients (1.4%). The rate for left atrioventricular valve reoperation was 8% at a mean of 211 ± 238 days after the original repair (range, 6 to 682 days). Compared with patients aged older than 3 months, the 39 patients (28%) who were younger than 3 months had similar perioperative courses and rate of reoperation. Compared with patients with an Australian repair, the 98 patients (71%) with a 2-patch repair were more likely to have trisomy 21 and had slightly increased cardiopulmonary bypass and cross-clamp times but similar outcomes. Multivariate analysis showed postoperative left atrioventricular valve regurgitation greater than 2 and left ventricular outflow tract obstruction were significant risk factors for reoperation on the left atrioventricular valve (both p < 0.05).

Conclusions: Repair of complete atrioventricular canal using an individualized surgical approach yields reoperation and early mortality rates similar for younger infants compared with older infants, obviating the need to delay operation in symptomatic patients.

MeSH terms

  • Cardiac Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • Echocardiography
  • Endocardial Cushion Defects / diagnostic imaging
  • Endocardial Cushion Defects / surgery*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • New York / epidemiology
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Rate / trends
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome