Atriopulmonary anastomosis

J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 1982 Mar;83(3):427-36.


Atriopulmonary anastomosis (APA) has been performed in 29 patients, 3 to 22 years of age, since 1971. The diagnoses were tricuspid atresia in 21, single ventricle with low pulmonary vascular resistance in seven, and one case of dextro-transposition of the great arteries with ventricular septal defect and pulmonary stenosis. Four different techniques were used: Technique I (anterior end-to-end APA with a homograft or Dacron tube); Technique II (anterior end-to-end APA with the patient's own pulmonary artery); Technique III (nonvalved anterior anastomosis between the right atrium and the right ventricle); and Technique IV (largest, posterior, nonvalved direct APA between the right atrium and the main pulmonary artery and its right branch). Since the right atrium does not function as a pump, caval valves were never used. The total hospital mortality was 17.2%. Proper patient selection and the development of Technique IV reduced the mortality to 9%. Low end-diastolic ventricular pressure and a nonrestrictive APA are mandatory to obtain a good clinical result without pleural effusion. Twenty-one survivors are in Functional Class I, 17 of them without medication. Twelve of the 24 survivors were recatheterized. The best clinical and hemodynamic results were achieved in patients with low right atrial pressure and low end-diastolic ventricular pressure. The follow-up demonstrated a consistent superiority of the posterior nonvalved APA (Technique IV) in comparison with other techniques described. Therefore, this technique is proposed as the procedure of choice for the performance of an APA, irrespective of the precise diagnosis (tricuspid atresia or single ventricle) and irrespective of the type of great arterial relationship.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Angiocardiography
  • Blood Vessel Prosthesis
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Heart Atria / surgery*
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / surgery*
  • Heart Septal Defects / surgery
  • Heart Ventricles / abnormalities
  • Humans
  • Methods
  • Mortality
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Pulmonary Artery / surgery*
  • Tricuspid Valve / abnormalities