The pulmonary circulation is dependent on the ductus arteriosus in all patients with pulmonary atresia and intact ventricular septum and in some with pulmonary atresia and ventricular septal defect (tetralogy of Fallot type). To assess the time of ductal closure in these two patient categories, we compared the ages at first operation in 58 patients with pulmonary atresia and intact ventricular septum and 32 with pulmonary atresia and septal defect. The age distribution differed significantly between the groups. Whereas 90% of the children with intact ventricular septum required surgery in the first week of life, 50% of those with ventricular septal defect underwent surgery after the first month and 25% after the third month. The previously described and now confirmed anatomic differences of ductus arteriosus or different levels of endogenous prostaglandins may explain persistent patency of the ductus in pulmonary atresia with ventricular septal defect. The phenomenon may have important clinical implications regarding the timing and choise of surgical procedure.
- Ductus arteriosus
- Pulmonary atresia
- Ventricular septal defect
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine