Results with continuous cardiopulmonary bypass for the bidirectional cavopulmonary anastomosis

Robroy H. MacIver, Robert D. Stewart, Carl L. Backer, Constantine Mavroudis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objective: Some centres have proposed creating the bidirectional cavopulmonary anastomosis without cardiopulmonary bypass, while others continue to use deep hypothermic circulatory arrest. The purpose of this review is to evaluate the results of using continuous cardiopulmonary bypass with moderate hypothermia, perhaps the most commonly used of the three techniques for this procedure. Methods: Between 1990 and 2005, 114 patients, having a mean age of 1.58 years, with a median age of 8 months, and ranging from 3 months to 16 years, underwent creation of either a unilateral cavopulmonary anastomosis, in 94 cases, or bilateral anastomoses in 20 cases. All had continuous cardiopulmonary bypass with moderate hypothermia at 32 degrees Celsius, with 24 also having aortic cross-clamping with cardioplegia for simultaneous intracardiac procedures. Interrupted absorbable sutures were used to create the anastomosis in 105 patients. Results: Perioperative mortality was 5%, with 6 of the patients dying. The mean period of cardiopulmonary bypass for an isolated anastomosis was 91 minutes, with a range from 44 to 160 minutes. In 10 patients (8.8%), it was necessary to place a graft to augment the anastomosis. The average postoperative length of stay was 7.9 days for those undergoing an isolated unilateral anastomosis, and 16.4 days for patients undergoing combined cardiac operations. We have now created the Fontan circulation in 79 of the patients, at an average interval from the bidirectional cavopulmonary anastomosis of 2.1 plus or minus 1.14 years. In 76 patients, we performed postoperative angiograms, and none revealed any stenoses. Conclusions: The bidirectional cavopulmonary anastomosis can be performed successfully with continuous cardiopulmonary bypass and moderate hypothermia with a beating heart, avoiding circulatory arrest. The use of interrupted and absorbable sutures was not associated with any late anastomotic stenosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)147-152
Number of pages6
JournalCardiology in the young
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2008


  • Bidirectional Glenn
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Interrupted anastomosis


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