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ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to describe the clinical importance and methods of transcatheter closure of systemic venous baffle leaks after atrial redirection procedures for transposed great vessels. Until the late 1970s, atrial redirection surgery was the principal surgical palliative approach to manage transposed great vessels. Baffle leaks are among the many long-term complications of this type of surgery, and their prevalence increases over time. The clinical consequences of baffle leaks in this population are poorly understood, and the indications for closure are incompletely defined. During outpatient follow-up of 126 patients after atrial redirection surgery, 15 baffle leaks were detected in 11 patients. All underwent transcatheter closure using either an occluding device or a covered stent if there was concomitant baffle obstruction. The average age at the time of the procedure was 26 years (range 6 to 42). Ten of 11 patients were cyanosed at rest or on a simple walk test (median oxygen saturation level 80%, range 65% to 96%). Six of 11 patients were polycythemic before leak closure (median hemoglobin concentration 19 g/dl, range 13.8 to 23). After closure, there was a significant improvement in saturation (median 97%, p <0.0001) and a significant reduction in hemoglobin concentration at 6 months after the procedure (median 14.8 g/dl, p <0.05). There were no procedural adverse events. One patient experienced late device embolization necessitating surgical removal. In conclusion, transcatheter closure of baffle leaks is a technically feasible although frequently complex and lengthy procedure. Closure is associated with an improvement in oxygen saturations and a reduction in polycythaemia.
The American journal of cardiology 06/2012; 110(7):1046-50. · 3.58 Impact Factor