Bidirectional cavopulmonary shunts: Clinical applications as staged or definitive palliation

Ennio Mazzera, Antonio Corno, Sergio Picardo, Roberto Di Donato, Bruno Marino, Dina Costa, Carlo Marcelletti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A standard Glenn anastomosis between the superior vena cava and the right pulmonary artery has been the accepted mode of treatment for patients with complex cyanotic congenital heart disease. We report our experience in 18 patients with such disease who underwent a bidirectional cavopulmonary shunt because of increasing cyanosis and growth cessation. All patients were considered less than "ideal" candidates for a Fontan procedure. We divided the patients into two groups: group 1 had azygos continuation and group 2 did not. Fourteen patients required hypothermic cardiopulmonary bypass. Bidirectional pulmonary blood flow was achieved in all patients. Only 1 death occurred (group 2). The improvement in oxygen saturation and overall clinical condition of these patients, together with the low mortality and morbidity, is encouraging. However, long-term follow-up is mandatory for a comprehensive evaluation of this surgical approach as definitive palliation or as a first stage for a Fontan operation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)415-420
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Surgery


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