Impact of a Composite Valved RV-PA Graft After Stage 1 Palliation

Ann Thorac Surg. 2018 Nov;106(5):1452-1459. doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2018.05.068. Epub 2018 Jun 30.


Background: The use of a valved right ventricular to pulmonary artery shunt (RVPAS) has been reported by some to improve pulmonary artery growth after stage 1 palliation (S1P).

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed all patients undergoing an S1P with an RVPAS between January 2013 and May 2017, stratified by RVPAS type: a ring-reinforced polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) graft or a composite graft that included a distal valved femoral or saphenous vein homograft. We examined the association of RVPAS type on postoperative hemodynamics, time to reintervention, pulmonary artery growth, and survival.

Results: Among 94 infants, 56 (60%) underwent PTFE-only shunt, 24 (25%) underwent femoral vein homograft, and 14 (15%) underwent saphenous vein homograft, and no relevant risk factor differences were found between the groups. Arterial saturation was 2.3% higher (p = 0.014) and serum lactic acid was 1.24 mg/dL lower (p = 0.03) in the femoral vein homograft group than in the PTFE-only group, although venous saturation was similar. By 60 days, 50% of patients with saphenous vein homograft had a reintervention compared with 5% with PTFE graft (p < 0.0001) and 12% with femoral vein homograft (p = 0.2 versus PTFE). At the time of stage 2 palliation, no differences were found in pulmonary artery size or growth over time by either echocardiogram or angiography or in the density of aortopulmonary collaterals or degree of tricuspid regurgitation. The 12-month survival was similar between the groups.

Conclusions: The use of an interposition femoral vein homograft into the RVPAS may enhance perioperative stability, but it does not substantially improve interstage growth of the pulmonary arteries. Use of saphenous vein homograft is associated with earlier time to reintervention after S1P.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Anastomosis, Surgical / methods
  • Blood Vessel Prosthesis Implantation / methods
  • Boston
  • Cohort Studies
  • Databases, Factual
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Graft Survival
  • Hospitals, Pediatric
  • Humans
  • Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome / diagnostic imaging
  • Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome / mortality*
  • Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome / surgery*
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Male
  • Norwood Procedures / methods*
  • Norwood Procedures / mortality
  • Palliative Care / methods
  • Polytetrafluoroethylene
  • Pulmonary Artery / abnormalities
  • Pulmonary Artery / surgery*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Saphenous Vein / transplantation*
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Survival Analysis
  • Time Factors
  • Transplantation, Autologous / methods
  • Transplantation, Autologous / mortality
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Polytetrafluoroethylene