In a 10-year review, patients operated on for ventricular septal defect and tricuspid valve pouch were divided into two groups, because the effect of the tricuspid valve pouch is influenced by which ventricle has the higher pressure. Group I comprised patients with ventricular septal defect without transposition of the great arteries and group II, ventricular septal defect with transposition. In 72 of 392 group I patients, the septal tricuspid valve leaflet was incised to expose the edges of the hidden ventricular septal defect to accomplish proper anatomic repair. Forty-eight patients had a tricuspid valve pouch, the diagnosis being established by angiography, echocardiography, or at operation. Ages at operation ranged from 5 months to 22 years and the pulmonary-systemic flow ratio ranged from 1 to 3.4, with 16 being less than 1.5. In one patient the pouch produced a 40 mm Hg pressure gradient in the right ventricular outflow tract. At operation, through a transatrial approach, the tricuspid valve pouch was opened radially, the actual ventricular septal defect patched, and the tricuspid valve leaflet repaired. There were no deaths, no significant intraoperative or postoperative morbidity, and no tricuspid valve dysfunction. The average postoperative hospital stay was 4.8 days. In group II, six of 83 patients operated on for transposition with ventricular septal defect had significant left ventricular outflow tract obstruction from the tricuspid valve pouch. Five of six had a Mustard procedure, two requiring a left ventricular- pulmonary artery conduit, and in two of the six the ventricular septal defect was closed through the pulmonary artery. One patient had heart transplantation after a Mustard repair and tricuspid valve replacement. The sixth patient in group II had a successful arterial switch at 9 years of age, after the presence of left ventricular outflow tract obstruction was proved to be due to the pouch. The presence of a tricuspid valve pouch in group I may lead the surgeon to close false small openings produced by the pouch rather than the actual ventricular septal defect. Incising the pouch is safe and essential for proper exposure and secure closure of the true defect. In group II, the systemic right ventricular pressure can push the pouch into the left ventricular outflow tract, causing significant obstruction, and may contribute to tricuspid valve insufficiency after atrial baffle repair. Arterial switch is preferred because it returns the obstructive tricuspid valve pouch and abnormal tricuspid leaflet to the lower pressure pulmonic right ventricle.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine