Management of the Adult with Arterial Switch
- John P. BreinholtEmail John P. Breinholt
- Sheba John
Dextro-transposition of the great arteries (d-TGA) is a lethal congenital heart defect in which the great arteries—the pulmonary artery and aorta—are transposed to create ventriculoarterial discordance. Corrective surgical interventions have resulted in significant improvements in morbidity and mortality for this once-fatal congenital heart defect.
The initial palliative surgery for d-TGA was the atrial switch operation, which provided physiological correction. The Mustard and Senning “atrial switch” procedures, in which an atrial baffle is created to produce a discordant atrioventricular connection on the existing discordant ventriculoarterial connection, showed preliminary success for the correction of d-TGA. However, follow-up evaluations demonstrated increasing complications from the right ventricle utilized as a systemic ventricle, resulting in progressive right ventricular dysfunction. Thus, the search continued for an anatomical correction of d-TGA to return the great arteries to their normal ventricular connections.
The arterial switch operation (ASO), though attempted and theorized by many, was first successfully performed by Dr. Jatene and colleagues in 1975. For ASO, the distal main pulmonary artery and the distal ascending aorta are transected and then anastomosed to their respective ventricles with relocation of the coronary arteries to the neoaorta. The ASO has replaced the atrial switch operation since the 1980s and is now the standard surgical correction for d-TGA.
As more patients who have undergone ASO are living into adulthood, late complications of this procedure have become more evident. The most common late postoperative complications include coronary artery stenosis, neoaortic root dilation, neoaortic insufficiency, and neopulmonic stenosis. Adults who have undergone ASO in childhood will need follow-up with surveillance imaging and evaluation of new symptoms or declining function to prevent and manage late postoperative complications. This review describes the management strategies for common late complications in patients who have undergone ASO.
- Published on 1 Apr 2019
- Peer Reviewed