Post-operative Chylothorax in Patients with Repaired Transposition of the Great Arteries

Pediatr Cardiol. 2022 Mar;43(3):685-690. doi: 10.1007/s00246-021-02774-z. Epub 2021 Nov 29.


Patients with dextro-transposition of the great arteries (d-TGA) require surgical repair as neonates. These patients are at risk for post-operative chylothorax. We sought to describe the presentation, imaging, and outcomes after intervention for patients with d-TGA with post-operative chylothorax. A retrospective chart review was performed in patients with repaired d-TGA who were referred from 1/1/2013 to 4/1/2020 for evaluation of chylothorax. Patient history, lymphatic imaging, and interventional data were collected. Impact of intervention on lymphatic drainage was evaluated with a student's t-test. Eight patients met inclusion criteria for this study. Five patients had a history of central venous thrombus leading to thoracic duct outlet occlusion. Five patients underwent intervention, two were managed conservatively, and one was not a candidate for intervention. Chylothorax resolved in six patients. There was a significant difference in output from 7 days prior to first intervention (114 mL/kg/day) compared to 28 days following final intervention (27 mL/kg/day, p = 0.034). There were no procedural complications. Chylothorax in patients with repaired transposition of the great arteries is often amenable to intervention. Early surveillance and management of central venous thrombosis may reduce the burden of lymphatic disease in these patients.

Keywords: Central venous line; Chylothorax; Lymphatic injury; Thrombosis; Transposition of great arteries.

MeSH terms

  • Arteries
  • Chylothorax* / etiology
  • Chylothorax* / surgery
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Transposition of Great Vessels* / surgery