Oversizing pulmonary homograft conduits does not significantly decrease allograft failure in children

Tara Karamlou, Ross M. Ungerleider, Bahaaldin Alsoufi, Grant Burch, Michael Silberbach, Mark Reller, Irving Shen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


Objective: Placement of oversized pulmonary ventricle-pulmonary artery conduits is routinely performed to decrease conduit failure in children. However, this practice has recently been challenged as somatic outgrowth may not be the main determinant of allograft failure in children. Our objective was to determine whether placement of oversized homografts for extracardiac pulmonary ventricle (PV) outflow tract reconstruction improves longevity in young children. Methods: We reviewed 102 consecutive PV-PA conduits inserted in 70 patients less than 18 years between 1984 and 2003. Conduits placed in an anatomic position (n=23) as part of a Ross operation, were excluded. Conduits were initially stratified into two age groups: Group 1, those placed in patients ≤10 years, and Group 2, those placed in patients >10 years. Normalization of conduit size to patient's body surface area at the time of insertion (z-value) was then performed to divide the conduits into oversized (O/S) and non-oversized (NO/S) groups. Determinants of conduit failure and allograft longevity were then compared between groups. Results: Seventy-nine extracardiac conduits were placed, and 57 of these were in patients under 10 years of age. The majority had a diagnosis of tetralogy of Fallot (n=38), truncus arteriosus (n=19), pulmonary atresia with ventricular septal defect (n=12), or D-TGA with pulmonary stenosis and ventricular septal defect (n=7). Thirty-seven conduits were oversized (O/S) based on z-value, and 42 were non-oversized (NO/S), and the mean age at initial homograft placement was 7.0±7.5 years. Overall, oversizing conferred no significant advantage with respect to actuarial freedom from homograft replacement at 1, 5, or 10 years (96, 79, and 21%, O/S vs 93, 60, and 24%, NO/S), P=0.44. Oversizing was more frequent in Group 1 than Group 2 (53 vs 32%), and conduit failure was also more frequent with 49% requiring reoperation during the study period vs 38% in Group 2. In the subset of patients ≤10 years, both homograft explantation rate (50% O/S vs 48% NO/S) and median interval to conduit failure were similar between the O/S and NO/S patients (7.1 vs 4.8 years), P=0.340. Risk factors for conduit failure identified in multivariable regression analysis included the presence of pulmonary artery branch stenosis, lack of previous definitive repair, a diagnosis of pulmonary atresia, the need for percutaneous intervention. Conclusions: There is no significant benefit to placement of an oversized PV-PA homograft in this series of patients from a single institution. Even in young patients with rapid somatic growth, normalizing extracardiac allografts to BSA provides excellent conduit longevity and outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)548-553
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2005


  • Conduit
  • Congenital
  • Homograft
  • Reconstruction
  • Right ventricular outflow tract

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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