Earlier Pulmonary Valve Replacement in Down Syndrome Patients Following Tetralogy of Fallot Repair

Pediatr Cardiol. 2017 Aug;38(6):1251-1256. doi: 10.1007/s00246-017-1653-2. Epub 2017 Jun 14.


The association between Down syndrome and pulmonary hypertension could contribute to more severe pulmonary regurgitation after tetralogy of Fallot repair and possibly earlier pulmonary valve replacement. We compared cardiac magnetic resonance measures of pulmonary regurgitation and right ventricular dilation as well as timing of pulmonary valve replacement between those with and without Down syndrome after tetralogy of Fallot repair. Review of our surgical database from 2000 to 2015 identified patients with tetralogy of Fallot with pulmonary stenosis. Those with Down syndrome were compared to those without. The primary outcome of interest was time from repair to pulmonary valve replacement. Secondary outcomes included pulmonary regurgitation and indexed right ventricular volume on cardiac magnetic resonance imaging. The cohort of 284 patients included 35 (12%) with Down syndrome. Transannular patch repair was performed in 210 (74%). Down syndrome showed greater degree of pulmonary regurgitation (55 ± 14 vs. 37 ± 16%, p = 0.01) without a significantly greater rate of right ventricular dilation (p = 0.09). In multivariable analysis, Down syndrome (HR 2.3, 95% CI 1.2-4.5, p = 0.02) and transannular patch repair (HR 5.5, 95% CI 1.7-17.6, p = 0.004) were significant risk factors for valve replacement. Those with Down syndrome had significantly lower freedom from valve replacement (p = 0.03). Down syndrome is associated with an increased degree of pulmonary regurgitation and earlier pulmonary valve replacement after tetralogy of Fallot repair. These patients require earlier assessment by cardiac magnetic resonance imaging to determine timing of pulmonary valve replacement and evaluation for and treatment of preventable causes of pulmonary hypertension.

Keywords: Down syndrome; Magnetic resonance imaging; Pulmonary valve; Tetralogy of Fallot.

MeSH terms

  • Cardiac Surgical Procedures / adverse effects*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Down Syndrome / complications*
  • Female
  • Heart Valve Prosthesis Implantation*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Pulmonary Valve / surgery*
  • Pulmonary Valve Insufficiency / etiology
  • Pulmonary Valve Insufficiency / surgery*
  • Pulmonary Valve Stenosis / surgery
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tetralogy of Fallot / complications
  • Tetralogy of Fallot / surgery*
  • Time Factors