Comparison Between Patent Ductus Arteriosus Stent and Modified Blalock-Taussig Shunt as Palliation for Infants With Ductal-Dependent Pulmonary Blood Flow: Insights From the Congenital Catheterization Research Collaborative

Circulation. 2018 Feb 6;137(6):589-601. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.117.029987. Epub 2017 Oct 17.


Background: Infants with ductal-dependent pulmonary blood flow may undergo palliation with either a patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) stent or a modified Blalock-Taussig (BT) shunt. A balanced multicenter comparison of these 2 approaches is lacking.

Methods: Infants with ductal-dependent pulmonary blood flow palliated with either a PDA stent or a BT shunt from January 2008 to November 2015 were reviewed from the 4 member centers of the Congenital Catheterization Research Collaborative. Outcomes were compared by use of propensity score adjustment to account for baseline differences between groups.

Results: One hundred six patients with a PDA stent and 251 patients with a BT shunt were included. The groups differed in underlying anatomy (expected 2-ventricle circulation in 60% of PDA stents versus 45% of BT shunts; P=0.001) and presence of antegrade pulmonary blood flow (61% of PDA stents versus 38% of BT shunts; P<0.001). After propensity score adjustment, there was no difference in the hazard of the primary composite outcome of death or unplanned reintervention to treat cyanosis (hazard ratio, 0.8; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.52-1.23; P=0.31). Other reinterventions were more common in the PDA stent group (hazard ratio, 29.8; 95% CI, 9.8-91.1; P<0.001). However, the PDA stent group had a lower adjusted intensive care unit length of stay (5.3 days [95% CI, 4.2-6.7] versus 9.19 days [95% CI, 7.9-10.6]; P<0.001), a lower risk of diuretic use at discharge (odds ratio, 0.4; 95% CI, 0.25-0.64; P<0.001) and procedural complications (odds ratio, 0.4; 95% CI, 0.2-0.77; P=0.006), and larger (152 mm2/m2 [95% CI, 132-176] versus 125 mm2/m2 [95% CI, 113-138]; P=0.029) and more symmetrical (symmetry index, 0.84 [95% CI, 0.8-0.89] versus 0.77 [95% CI, 0.75-0.8]; P=0.008] pulmonary arteries at the time of subsequent surgical repair or last follow-up.

Conclusions: In this multicenter comparison of palliative PDA stent and BT shunt for infants with ductal-dependent pulmonary blood flow adjusted for differences in patient factors, there was no difference in the primary end point, death or unplanned reintervention to treat cyanosis. However, other markers of morbidity and pulmonary artery size favored the PDA stent group, supporting PDA stent as a reasonable alternative to BT shunt in select patients.

Keywords: Blalock-Taussig procedure; ductus arteriosus, patent; heart diseases; propensity score; stents.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Blalock-Taussig Procedure* / adverse effects
  • Blalock-Taussig Procedure* / mortality
  • Cardiac Catheterization / adverse effects
  • Cardiac Catheterization / instrumentation*
  • Cardiac Catheterization / mortality
  • Ductus Arteriosus, Patent / diagnostic imaging
  • Ductus Arteriosus, Patent / mortality
  • Ductus Arteriosus, Patent / physiopathology
  • Ductus Arteriosus, Patent / surgery*
  • Female
  • Hospital Mortality
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Mortality
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Palliative Care / methods*
  • Pulmonary Circulation*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Stents*
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United States