Branch Pulmonary Artery Growth After Blalock–Taussig Shunts in Tetralogy of Fallot and Pulmonary Atresia with Ventricular Septal Defect: A Retrospective, Echocardiographic Study
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We performed a retrospective echocardiographic study in tetralogy of Fallot (TOF) or pulmonay atresia with ventricular septal defect (PA&VSD) to evaluate the effects of Blalock–Taussig shunt on branch pulmonary artery growth. There were 35 patients with TOF and 11 with PA&VSD. We measured the right and left pulmonary artery area index and also the combined pulmonary artery area index, both before and after shunt operation. The mean ± SD of these three variables before the shunt operation in the TOF group were 63.5 ± 22.5, 57.8 ± 24.9, and 121.4 ± 42.8 mm2/m2; after shunt operation they were 98.5 ± 33.6, 85.9 ± 31.9, and 184.0 ± 59.8 mm2/m2, respectively (p values <0.0001, <0.0002, and <0.0001, respectively). In the PA&VSD group the comparable values before shunt operation were 66.5 ± 16.0, 55.4 ± 10.6, and 120.9 ± 26.9 mm2/m2 and after shunt operation were 90.5 ± 22.9, 77.2 ± 24.1, and 166.6 ± 44.4 mm2/m2, respectively (p values <0.0006, <0.014, and <0.002, respectively). We also examined the effect of distensibility of pulmonary arteries by comparing the percentage change in size of the combined pulmonary artery area index in the first 4 months after shunt with those after this time (p < 0.023). There were no significant differences between left- and right-sided shunts, origin and distal pulmonary artery growth, and the TOF and PA&VSD groups.
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