Right and left ventricular systolic function late after repair of tetralogy of Fallot
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Right ventricular (RV) dysfunction has adverse effects on long-term outcome in patients with repaired tetralogy of Fallot (TOF). We employed serial radionuclide angiography (RNA) to examine RV and left ventricular (LV) systolic function in adults late after TOF repair and its relation to clinical outcome. We reviewed 10-year records of 95 patients (53 men) with TOF followed in our clinic (mean age at repair 12.6 +/- 10.5 years, mean age at last follow-up 37.7 +/- 9.8 years) who underwent at least 2 RNAs between 1987 and 1997. Most patients were well by the end of the study (80% were New York Heart Association class I, 17% were class II, and 3% were in class III). Sixteen patients experienced sustained tachyarrhythmias (8 had atrial; 8 patients had ventricular). One patient died suddenly. Fifteen patients underwent RV outflow reoperations (15 underwent pulmonary valve replacement; 7 had relief of RV outflow obstruction); RV systolic function during exercise in these 15 patients was significantly impaired before and returned to similar levels after surgery, compared with the rest of the patients. Overall, RV and LV function remained stable in the whole group at a mean interval of 5.7 +/- 2.2 years between first and last RNA. This group of closely followed adults with TOF remained well over 10 years with a low incidence of sudden death and stable RV and LV systolic function, despite a relatively large number of RV outflow reoperations. Aggressive intervention for right-sided hemodynamic abnormalities may have contributed to this outcome. Preserved ventricular function may herald a favorable long-term outlook in this group.
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