Although 2-dimensional, Doppler, color flow echocardiography is accepted as a safe diagnostic method to guide the surgical treatment of certain heart defects, cardiac catheterization remains mandatory for patients with tetralogy of Fallot. Based on the excellent diagnostic correlation between echocardiography and angiocardiography, a policy of echo-guided primary repair of uncomplicated, selected cases of tetralogy of Fallot was introduced at Ospedale Bambino Gesu'. In the last 5 years, of 139 patients who had surgery for tetralogy of Fallot, 105 underwent primary repair. In 56 patients (53.3%), surgery was guided only by echocardiography (group I). In the remaining 49 patients (46.7%) (group II), unclear imaging of cardiovascular anatomy (n = 23), or echo-suspected associated malformations (n = 26) prompted cardiac catheterization. The 2 groups did not differ in age and weight at surgery. Intraoperative examination did not show diagnostic errors in patients of group I; cardiac catheterization and surgery confirmed the suspected associated anomalies in 16 of 26 patients of group II (38.4% false-positive). Echocardiography showed an overall sensitivity of 100% and specificity of 85% for detection of associated malformations. In conclusion, echocardiography proved to be adequate for selection of patients with uncomplicated forms of tetralogy of Fallor for primary repair.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine