Risk Factors for Thrombosis, Overshunting and Death in Infants after Modified Blalock-Taussig Shunt

Acta Cardiol Sin. 2016 May;32(3):337-42. doi: 10.6515/acs20150731a.


Background: The Modified Blalock-Taussig shunt procedure can provide increased flow of blood to the lungs for babies born with certain congenital heart defects. We evaluated 44 subjects under 2 years of age who had a Modified Blalock-Taussig shunt (MBTS) procedure performed from 2009-2013, to investigate risk factors for thrombosis, overshunting and death.

Methods: The study subjects included in our investigation were severely cyanotic newborns with pulmonary stenosis or atresia and duct dependent circulation, and infants having Tetralogy of Fallot with small pulmonary arteries who underwent a MBTS procedure in our facility from 2009-2013. We duly noted patient preoperative characteristics such as hemoglobin, hematocrit, mean platelet volume, prothrombin time and partial thromboplastin time. Our study investigated the risk factors for post-operative overcirculation, thrombosis and death.

Results: The age and weight of patients in our study at the time of procedure ranged from 1 day to 20 months old (median 12 days), and 2.4 kg to 12 kg (mean 4.6 kg), respectively. A total of 8 patients died following surgery, and. 4 (9.1%) had shunt thrombosis, of which one died during shunt revision. Partial thromboplastin time was 28.7 seconds in patients with thrombosis, and 35 in all other patients (p = 0.04). Overcirculation was detected in 5 patients; shunt size/body weight was 1.25 in patients who had overcirculation, and 1.06 in all other patients.

Conclusions: It is important to assess risk factors associated with the MBTS operation. The results of our study suggest that a preoperative low aPTT value may be an indicator for thrombosis in infants who have undergone MBTS surgery.

Keywords: Activated partial thromboplastin time; Risk factors; Shunt thrombosis.