Experience and Outcomes of Surgically Implanted Melody Valve in the Pulmonary Position

Ann Thorac Surg. 2021 Mar;111(3):966-972. doi: 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2020.05.061. Epub 2020 Jun 27.


Background: Multiple congenital cardiac malformations require pulmonary valve replacement and/or right ventricular outflow (RVOT) reconstruction. Pulmonary valve replacement remains challenging in children owing to the limited growth potential of prosthetic valves. We evaluated outcomes in patients undergoing surgical implantation of a Melody valve in the RVOT.

Methods: Data were retrospectively collected for 23 patients undergoing surgical Melody valve implantation at Boston Children's Hospital between 2009 and 2019. We assessed postoperative valve function, reintervention rates, and mortality.

Results: Median age was 1.7 years (range, 2 months to 6 years); 12 patients were aged greater than 2 years (52%). Diagnosis was tetralogy of Fallot in 15 patients (65%); 15 had a prior RVOT operation (65%). The Melody valve was dilated before surgery to a median diameter of 14 mm (range, 10-20 mm). No patients had acute pulmonary regurgitation. One required transcatheter RVOT reintervention before discharge. Median follow-up was 3.7 years (range, 0.02-8.7 years) with moderate or greater pulmonary regurgitation in 2 patients. Catheter-based interventions (mean, 0.83 ± 1.07/patient) occurred at a median of 1 year (range, 16 days to 5.4 years) and included valve expansion for somatic growth (n = 10) and subsequent valve-in-valve replacement (n = 3). Three patients (13%) required surgical valve explant or replacement at a median of 1.0 year (range, 0.6-3.7 years) for Melody-specific indications. One-, 3-, and 5-year freedom from Melody-driven reoperation was 90%, 90%, and 83%, respectively.

Conclusions: The Melody valve can be surgically implanted in the RVOT of young patients with acceptable early results. These valves can be successfully dilated through transcatheter reintervention to accommodate growth.

Publication types

  • Video-Audio Media

MeSH terms

  • Cardiac Catheterization / methods*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Heart Valve Prosthesis Implantation / methods*
  • Heart Valve Prosthesis*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Prosthesis Design
  • Pulmonary Valve / surgery*
  • Pulmonary Valve Insufficiency / surgery*
  • Reoperation
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome