Porcine Model of the Arterial Switch Operation: Implications for Unique Strategies in the Management of Hypoplastic Left Ventricles

Anthony Azakie, John P. Carney, Matthew T. Lahti, Richard W. Bianco, Michelle J. Doyle, Rajat Kalra, Cindy M. Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


There are no reports on the performance of the arterial switch operation (ASO) in a normal heart with normally related great vessels. The objective of this study was to determine whether the ASO could be performed in a healthy animal model. Cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) and coronary translocation techniques were used to perform ASO in neonatal piglets or a staged ASO with prior main pulmonary artery (PA) banding. Primary ASO was performed in four neonatal piglets. Coronary translocation was effective with angiograms confirming patency. Piglets could not be weaned from CPB due to right ventricle (RV) dysfunction. To improve RV function for the ASO, nine piglets had PA banding. All survived the procedure. Post-banding RV pressure increased from a mean of 20.3 ± 2.2 mmHg to 36.5 ± 7.3 mmHg (p = 0.007). At 58 ± 1 days post-banding, piglets underwent cardiac MRIs revealing RV hypertrophy, and RV pressure overload with mildly reduced RV function. Catheterization confirmed RV systolic pressures of 84.0 ± 6.7 mmHg with LV systolic pressure 83.3 ± 6.7 mmHg (p = 0.43). The remaining five PA banded piglets underwent ASO at 51 ± 0 days post-banding. Three of five were weaned from bypass with patent coronary arteries and adequate RV function. We were able to successfully perform an arterial switch with documented patent coronary arteries on standard anatomy great vessels in a healthy animal model. To our knowledge this is the first time this procedure has been successfully performed. The model may have implications for studying the failing systemic RV, and may support a novel approach for management of borderline, pulsatile left ventricles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)501-509
Number of pages9
JournalPediatric Cardiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 30 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the American Heart Association (18IPA34170058).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, The Author(s).


  • Arterial switch operation
  • Heart failure
  • Hypoplastic left heart syndrome
  • Left ventricle hypoplasia
  • Porcine model
  • Right ventricle failure


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