Restriction of Atrial Septal Defect Leads to Growth of Hypoplastic Ventricle in Patients with Borderline Right or Left Heart

Semin Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2022 Spring;34(1):215-223. doi: 10.1053/j.semtcvs.2021.03.039. Epub 2021 May 15.


Patients with borderline hypoplastic right or left ventricle and VSD may be candidates for either single ventricle palliation or staged ventricular recruitment (SVR) followed by eventual biventricular conversion. Components of SVR include restriction of atrial septal defects (ASD) without ventricular septal defects (VSD) closure and addition of accessory pulmonary blood flow. This study evaluated the impact of ASD restriction on ventricular growth and function. We retrospectively reviewed patients with borderline ventricular hypoplasia and VSD who underwent a staged ventricular recruitment (SVR) procedure from 2012 to June 2019. Pre- and post-recruitment MRI and echocardiogram data were compared and analyzed. We excluded cases in which we intentionally restricted VSD with simultaneous ASD restriction. Forty-six patients (41 with right-dominant ventricle, 25 with risk factors for Fontan procedure) underwent SVR at a median age of 15.1 months' (interquartile range (IQR), 7.2-37.2 months'). The median indexed ventricular end-diastolic volume, end-systolic volume, and stroke volume according to cardiac MRI significantly increased at median 11.0 months' (IQR:7.8~14.1 months') after recruitment. Among them, except 2 operative mortalities after SVR, 26 patients underwent bi-ventricular repair (56.5% including one and a half ventricle repair) at a median of 8.0 months' (IQR: 6.2-12.2 months') after recruitment. Fifteen patients await biventricular completion, and 3 patients underwent single ventricle palliation. Pulmonary blood flow (Qp) tended to increase after recruitment regardless of type of pulmonary blood flow modification without statistical significance. Six patients died at a median duration of 6.5 months' (IQR: 2.9-11.7) after SVR; 3 patients died after biventricular completion, 2 after recruitment, and 1 after returning to single ventricle palliation. All of them were considered poor Fontan candidates due to severe atrioventricular valve regurgitation, pulmonary hypertension, pulmonary vein stenosis, or airway stenosis. Restriction of the atrial septum leads to the growth of hypoplastic ventricle in patients with ventricular septal defects who undergo SVR regardless of the preoperative characteristics, and eventual biventricular repair can be performed in a subgroup of these patients. Future work is necessary to optimize timing of SVR and method of accessory pulmonary blood flow.

Keywords: Congenital heart disease; Hypoplastic ventricle; Restriction of atrial septum; Single ventricle.

MeSH terms

  • Constriction, Pathologic
  • Heart Septal Defects, Atrial* / complications
  • Heart Septal Defects, Atrial* / diagnostic imaging
  • Heart Septal Defects, Atrial* / surgery
  • Heart Septal Defects, Ventricular* / surgery
  • Heart Ventricles / abnormalities
  • Heart Ventricles / diagnostic imaging
  • Heart Ventricles / surgery
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome