Author(s): Rao PS
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Abstract The purpose of this review/editorial is to discuss how and when to treat the most common cyanotic congenital heart defects (CHDs); the discussion of acyanotic heart defects was presented in a previous editorial. By and large, the indications and timing of intervention are decided by the severity of the lesion. While some patients with acyanotic CHD may not require surgical or transcatheter intervention because of spontaneous resolution of the defect or mildness of the defect, the majority of cyanotic CHD will require intervention, mostly surgical. Total surgical correction is the treatment of choice for tetralogy of Fallot patients although some patients may need to be palliated initially by performing a modified Blalock-Taussig shunt. For transposition of the great arteries, arterial switch (Jatene) procedure is the treatment of choice, although Rastelli procedure is required for patients who have associated ventricular septal defect (VSD) and pulmonary stenosis (PS). Some of these babies may require Prostaglandin E1 infusion and/or balloon atrial septostomy prior to corrective surgery. In tricuspid atresia patients, most babies require palliation at presentation either with a modified Blalock-Taussig shunt or pulmonary artery banding followed later by staged Fontan (bidirectional Glenn followed later by extracardiac conduit Fontan conversion usually with fenestration). Truncus arteriosus babies are treated by closure of VSD along with right ventricle to pulmonary artery conduit; palliative banding of the pulmonary artery is no longer recommended. Total anomalous pulmonary venous connection babies require anastomosis of the common pulmonary vein with the left atrium at presentation. Other defects should also be addressed by staged correction or complete repair depending upon the anatomy/physiology. Feasibility, safety and effectiveness of treatment of cyanotic CHD with currently available medical, transcatheter and surgical methods are well established and should be performed at an appropriate age in order to prevent damage to cardiovascular structures.
This article was published in Indian J Pediatr
and referenced in Emergency Medicine: Open Access