Objectives: Since 1990, transcatheter pulmonary valvotomy has become an alternative to surgical valvotomy in the management of neonates and infants with pulmonary atresia and intact ventricular septum. We sought to determine whether right ventricular growth after transcatheter pulmonary valvotomy is commensurate with body growth.
Methods: Laser or radiofrequency-assisted balloon valvotomy was attempted in 12 neonates and infants with pulmonary atresia and intact ventricular septum. Tricuspid and mitral valve dimensions were measured retrospectively on the cross-sectional echocardiograms performed before the procedure and during follow-up. Z-values were used to standardize tricuspid valve dimensions with body size.
Results: The atretic pulmonary valve was successfully perforated and dilated in nine of 12 patients. Five of these nine patients required additional transcatheter or surgical procedures to augment the pulmonary blood flow. Of six survivors, five are regularly followed up with a median follow-up of 60 months (range 37 to 68 months). All five have two-ventricle circulation, two of the five patients requiring surgical enlargement of the right ventricular outflow tract with or without closure of the atrial septal defect. Echocardiographic tricuspid valve dimensions and Z-values before transcatheter valvotomy tended to be smaller in the patients who died than in the survivors. In the survivors, the absolute tricuspid valve dimensions increased after valvotomy but the Z-values tended to decrease or stayed constant.
Conclusions: Transcatheter valvotomy is a good alternative to surgical valvotomy in patients with pulmonary atresia and intact ventricular septum. Two-ventricle circulation can be achieved despite subnormal right ventricular growth.