, Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 224-229
Date: 19 Feb 2002

Exercise Performance in Tetralogy of Fallot: The Impact of Primary Complete Repair in Infancy

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Primary complete repair (PCR) of tetralogy of Fallot (TOF) is now routinely performed in infancy. Although operative results are excellent, the impact on exercise performance is incompletely understood. We reviewed data of all children with TOF who underwent PCR at our institution and had subsequent maximal cycle ergometer exercise testing between January 1995 and December 2000. Of the 193 patients with TOF who underwent PCR, 57 (30%) underwent exercise testing; maximal tests were available for 50 of 57 (88%). Exercise performance of subjects who underwent PCR at <1 YEAR OF AGE WAS COMPARED TO THAT OF THOSE WHO UNDERWENT REPAIR AT >l year of age. The median age at PCR was 10.9 months; 28 subjects (56%) underwent PCR in infancy (<1 year). A transannular incision was employed in the repair in 41 subjects (82%). The mean age at exercise testing was 12.5 ± 3.2 years. The mean maximal VO2 was 94.9 ± 18.8% predicted and the mean maximal work rate was 98.0 ± 20.8% predicted. In multivariate analysis PCR in infancy (age <1 year) was not associated with maximal VO2, peak work rate, peak heart rate, or arrhythmias. Only older age at testing and male gender were significantly associated with higher maximal VO2 (p = 0.005 and p = 0.002, respectively). Intermediate-term exercise performance in subjects who undergo PCR of TOF in early childhood is near normal. Performing PCR in the first year of life does not impact subsequent exercise performance.