Anatomic repair of Ebstein's malformation: Lessons learned with cone reconstruction

Joseph A. Dearani, Sameh M. Said, Patrick W. O'Leary, Harold M. Burkhart, Roxann D. Barnes, Frank Cetta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

90 Scopus citations


Background: Reproducible repair of Ebstein's malformation is challenging and numerous surgical techniques have been described. We reviewed our experience with the cone reconstruction. Methods: Between June 2007 and December 2011, 89 patients (47 female; 53%) underwent cone reconstruction (median age 19 years; range, 19 days to 68 years). Indication for operation was progressive cardiomegaly in 43 (48%), cyanosis in 29 (33%), and heart failure in 13 (15%). Prior tricuspid valve repair was performed in 12 patients (13%). Severe tricuspid regurgitation (TR) was present in 75 patients (84%). Results: All patients underwent cone reconstruction (360-degree leaflet tissue repair anchored at true annulus). Modifications included ringed annuloplasty in 57 patients (64%), leaflet augmentation in 28 patients (31%), and autologous chordae in 17 patients (19%). Bidirectional cavopulmonary anastomosis was performed in 21 patients (24%). Early mortality occurred in 1 patient (1%). Early reoperation for recurrent TR occurred in 12 patients (13%); re-repair was performed in 6 patients (50%), and 6 (50%) required replacement. Mean follow-up was 19.7 ± 24.7 months. There was no late mortality or reoperation. At follow-up, 72 patients (87%) had no or mild TR, 9 (11%) had moderate TR, and 2 patients (2%) had severe TR. Ringed annuloplasty was associated with less than moderate TR at dismissal (p = 0.01). Conclusions: The learning curve for cone reconstruction is steep, but early mortality is low. Cone reconstruction with ringed annuloplasty results in less TR and should be used whenever possible. Longer follow-up is essential to determine late durability of cone reconstruction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)220-228
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2013
Externally publishedYes


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