Is alternative cardiac surgery an option in adults with congenital heart disease referred for thoracic organ transplantation?

Andrew Robert Harper, David Steven Crossland, Gianluigi Perri, John Jude O'sullivan, Milind Pralhad Chaudhari, Stephan Schueler, Massimo Griselli, Asif Hasan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: We analysed the outcomes of adults with congenital heart disease (ACHD) referred for thoracic organ transplantation who underwent non-transplant cardiac surgery as an alternative management option. METHODS: Adult patients with congenital heart disease assessed for heart or heart-lung transplant were identified from the departmental database. A retrospective analysis of the medical records, transplant assessment data and surgical notes was carried out. RESULTS: One hundred and twenty-six patients were assessed between January 2000 and July 2011. Non-transplant cardiac surgery was performed in 14 (11%) patients. There were nine males with a median age of 37 years (range 21-42). The patients can be divided into four subgroups [left-sided lesions (n = 4), right-sided lesions (n = 3), systemic right ventricle (n = 5) and Fontan circulation (n = 2)]. Surgical procedures performed were: relief of systemic obstructive/regurgitant lesions ± endocardial fibroelastosis resection (n = 4, three pulmonary vascular resistance >6 Wood units), correction of right-sided regurgitant/stenotic lesions (n = 3), ventricular assist device for patients with a systemic right ventricle (n = 5) and re-fashioning of the Fontan pathway (n = 2). There were two early (5 and 30 days) and three late deaths (64, 232 and 374 days) with a 1-year mortality of 28%. None of the deaths occurred in patients with a two-ventricle circulation and atrio-ventricular concordance. Nine patients are alive at a median of 433 days (range 204-2456). The New York Heart Association class has improved in all survivors by at least one class at 3 and 6 months (P = 0.004 and 0.003). CONCLUSIONS: Alternative cardiac surgery can be undertaken in selected patients with ACHD referred for cardiopulmonary transplantation with a low mortality in patients with two ventricles and a systemic left ventricle. Ventricular assist devices carry a significant mortality in patients with a systemic right ventricle, although this offers a valuable palliation when there are no other options. The medium and long-term results are awaited.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberezs240
Pages (from-to)344-351
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Cardio-thoracic Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Adult congenital heart disease
  • Cardiac surgery
  • Transplantation
  • Ventricular assist device


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