The transatrial repair of the ventricular septal defect (VSD) requires an adequate exposure of its rim. We retrospectively evaluated the impact of adopting the tricuspid valve incision (TVI) technique, either with detachment or radial incision, on the postoperative outcome of children undergoing surgical VSD repair.
From January 2008 to September 2017 we retrospectively enrolled 141 patients, divided into two groups: 97 patients were subjected to TVI (68.8%) and 44 patients (31.2%) were not subjected to TVI. All patients received an echocardiogram upon discharge from the hospital and after 1 month, 3 months, 6 months and a year from the treatment.
No perioperative or late deaths resulted in our dataset. TVI was associated with a slightly longer cardio-pulmonary bypass and cross-clamp time but there were no differences in the surgical outcome between the two groups. Moreover, no differences occurred concerning residual VSD, atrioventricular block or tricuspid regurgitation at discharge. Echocardiograms at follow-up were available for 134 patients (95%) with a median of 5.3 years (range 0.5–9.3) and the degree of tricuspid regurgitation did not differ between groups. No patient required reoperation for tricuspid regurgitation or residual interventricular shunt. Finally, no difference was found even when comparing the two TVI subgroups.
TVI should be used whenever intraoperative exposure of VSD is compromised in order to avoid a residual shunt and atrioventricular block. Here we show that this procedure does not significantly compromise the tricuspid function although a large, multicenter, randomized controlled trial is advised to validate this hypothesis.