The influence of a restrictive atrial septal defect on pulmonary vascular morphology in patients with hypoplastic left heart syndrome

Pediatric Cardiology
Joseph N GrazianoA Ludomirsky

Abstract

Hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) with a restrictive atrial septal defect (ASD) is a form of congenital heart disease with considerable morbidity and mortality. This morphologic analysis assesses the pulmonary vasculature in this patient population. Pulmonary arteries, the persistence of high-resistance fetal arterioles, pulmonary veins, and lymphatics from multiple lung sections from each of five patients with HLHS and a restrictive ASD were compared to those of five patients with HLHS and nonrestrictive ASD. Lung sections from each patient were qualitatively graded in severity of pathology from 0 to 3 for each of the structures described previously, with the pathologist blinded to the status of the ASD. Patients with a restrictive ASD exhibited more significant pulmonary venous thickening and lymphatic dilatation (p = 0.02), with a tendency toward persistence of high-resistance fetal vessels (p = 0.2), compared to patients with a nonrestrictive ASD. These findings imply that patients with HLHS and a restrictive ASD possess pulmonary vascular abnormalities that place them at higher risk for the current surgical interventions available compared to patients with a nonrestrictive ASD.

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