Objective: Cardiological and general health status 3-9 years after neonatal arterial switch operation for transposition of the great arteries should be evaluated by non-invasive methods.
Methods: A total of 77 unselected children with intact ventricular septum (75.3%) or ventricular septal defect (24.7%) without or with aortic isthmic stenosis (5.2%) were prospectively examined 3.2-9.4 years (5.4 +/- 1.6) after neonatal switch. Clinical pediatric and cardiological examination, standard and 24 h Holter electrocardiogram, M-mode, 2D-, Doppler and colour Doppler echocardiography were performed. Outcome data were compared to published normals.
Results: Reoperation rate was 2.6%, 96.1% were without limitation of physical activity and 98.7% without medication. Compared to normals, growth was adequate, weight and head circumference were slightly reduced. After median sternotomy, 23.4% had abnormal thoracic configuration (16.9% asymmetry, 6.5% funnel chest). ECG and Holter: 93.5% were in sinus, 6.5% in ectopic atrial or junctional rhythm. Incidence of complete right bundle branch block was 15.8% in patients with ventricular septal defect and 5.2% in those without. Ischemic ST-T changes during exercise due to coronary artery occlusion and evidence of old myocardial infarction were found in 1 patient (1.3%) each. Occasional atrial ectopy was found in 27.4%, ventricular ectopy in 15.3%: occasional in 12.5% and frequent (> 30/h) in 2.8% presenting bigemini, couplets and short runs of ventricular tachycardia at rest and during exercise. Echocardiography: Left ventricular function was normal in all. Endsystolic diameter of neoaortic valve annulus was beyond 90% confidence interval for controls in 79.2%, neoaortic root diameter in 100%. Mild aortic insufficiency was seen in 10.4%. No correlation was found between aortic insufficiency and aortic dilatation. Neoaortic stenosis was not seen, mild residual coarctation after end-to-end-anastomosis was found in 2.6%, native coarctation corrected later on in 1.3%. Supravalvular pulmonary stenosis was seen in 29.9% (19.5% trivial, 7.8% mild, 2.6% moderate), mild subvalvular pulmonary stenosis in 1.3%, pulmonary insufficiency in 2.6%.
Conclusion: The study confirms good midterm results after neonatal arterial switch operation for transposition with or without ventricular septal defect. Long-term observation is necessary to assess rhythm, coronary artery and myocardial function as well as development of neo-aorta and pulmonary artery system.