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1.  Implications of incising the ventricular septum in double outlet right ventricle and in the Ross–Konno operation☆ 
Incision into the ventricular septum in complex biventricular repair is controversial, and has been blamed for impairing left ventricular function. This retrospective study evaluates the risk of a ventricular septal incision in patients undergoing double outlet right ventricle (DORV) repair and Ross–Konno procedure.
From January 2003 to September 2007, 11 patients with DORV had a ventricular septum (VS) incision and 12 DORV patients did not. Sixteen patients had a Ross–Konno, and 16 had an isolated Ross procedure. The ventricular septal incision was made to match at least the diameter of a normal aortic annulus. In DORV, the VSD was enlarged superiorly and to the left. In the Ross–Konno, the aortic annulus was enlarged towards the septum posteriorly and to the left.
The median follow-up for the study is 19 months (1 month–4 years). For DORV, there were no significant differences in discharge mortality ( p = 0.22), late mortality ( p = 0.48), or late mortality plus heart transplant ( p = 0.093). Although patients with DORV and VSD enlargement have a more complex postoperative course, there were no differences in ECMO use ( p = 0.093), occurrence of permanent AV block ( p = 0.55), left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) ( p = 0.40), or shortening fraction (LVSF) ( p = 0.50). Similarly, for the Ross–Konno there were no significant differences in discharge mortality ( p = 0.30), late mortality ( p = NS), LVEF (p = 0.90) and LVSF ( p = 0.52) compared to the Ross, even though the Ross–Konno patients were significantly younger ( p < 0.0001).
Making a ventricular septal incision in DORV repair and in the Ross–Konno operation does not increase mortality and does not impair the LV function. The restriction of the VSD remains an important issue in the management of complex DORV. These encouraging results need to be confirmed by larger series.
PMCID: PMC3117298  PMID: 19269838
Double outlet right ventricle; Ventricular septal defect; Ross–Konno
2.  Surgical strategy to prevent cardiac injury during reoperation in infants 
Simplified Aortic Cannulation (SAC), wherein the innominate artery is used as the arterial inflow site rather than the ascending aorta, has proved to be a useful technique for arterial cannulation especially for small neonates undergoing complex cardiac operations. Since few technical options are available for re-entry cardiac injuries in small infants, we postulate that this technique may be equally helpful in those situations.
Case Presentation
We employed SAC in 4 infants undergoing reoperative cardiac surgery (prior Norwood, n = 2; prior arterial switch operation with suprasystemic pulmonary artery pressures after a Le Compte maneuver, n = 1; prior Ebstein's anomaly, n = 1). In all cases the innominate artery was exposed at the level of the supra-sternal notch, and a 3.5 mm expanded polytetrafluoroethylene (ePTFE) graft was anastomosed to the innominate artery (n = 3), and a 10 French cannula inserted into the graft for whole-body perfusion. Right atrial cannulation was obtained by dividing the anterior aspect of the diaphragm at the level of the xiphisternum, gaining easy access to the right atrial-inferior vena cava junction, without separating the sternal edges.
Discussion and Evaluation
All four infants successfully underwent their operations using SAC. In one case (2nd stage palliation for hypoplastic left heart syndrome) a cardiac injury occurred upon sternal reentry, but utilizing SAC, this was repaired without consequence.
Simplified aortic cannulation and direct right atrial cannulation may be obtained without dividing the sternum in complex reoperative infant surgeries, without making additional incisions. This may be life-saving in reoperative cardiac injuries in small infants.
PMCID: PMC2270272  PMID: 18307805

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