Background: We analyzed data from 320 patients to evaluate the impact of different preoperative, operative, and postoperative factors on the outcome after repair of complete atrioventricular septal defect.
Methods: Between October 1974 and December 1995, 320 patients with complete atrioventricular septal defect not associated with major cardiac anomalies were operated on. Two hundred seventy-four patients underwent total repair. Sixty-three patients (23%) were less than 6 months old. One hundred ninety-eight (72.2%) underwent primary repair. Seventy-six patients (27.7%) had a previous palliative operation.
Results: Operative mortality in patients who underwent primary repair decreased from 17.6% (1974 to 1979) to 5.0% (1990 to 1995) despite an increase in the number of patients younger than 6 months. In patients undergoing a two-stage procedure operative mortality was 3.9% (late mortality, 7.9%). Young age (<6 months) was an incremental risk factor (p = 0.008) for operative mortality in the early study period. Coarctation of the aorta (p = 0.02) and severe dysplastic left atrioventricular valve (p = 0.001) were associated with a higher risk for operative mortality. Freedom from reoperation at 10 years was 82.5% +/- 3.8%.
Conclusions: In patients with complete atrioventricular septal defect, primary repair is the treatment of choice and can be accomplished with good results. In our experience over a period of more than 20 years, earlier date of operation, young age (<6 months), dysplastic left atrioventricular valve, and coexisting coarctation were incremental risk factors for hospital death. The presence of a previously placed pulmonary artery band did not alter the outcome of repair. The reconstructed atrioventricular valve shows a good and long-lasting performance.