Durability of pulmonary conduits (PCs) used for reconstruction of the right ventricular outflow tract (RVOT) may be affected by a variety of factors. Among these, the technique used for PC implantation, whether in orthotopic or heterotopic position, strictly dependent upon the underlying anatomy, has been suggested to influence long-term outcome after RVOT repair. To determine the outcome of heterotopic implantation in infants and children treated at our institution, late results of heterotopic PC in non-Ross patients were analyzed and compared with data of orthotopic PC in age-matched pediatric Ross patients operated during the same time period. Between November 1991 and January 2015, 58 infants and children, 32 male and 26 female, with a median age of 9.4 years (range 1 day-18 years) underwent implantation of heterotopic PC (31 homografts [HG] and 27 xenografts [XG]) for reconstruction of RVOT. Median age in the XG group was significantly lower than in the HG group (0.9 vs. 13.4 years, P = 0.01), while male/female ratio was similar. Fifty (86%) patients had undergone one or more prior cardiac operations, while 32 (55%) required associated procedures during PC implantation. Comparison with data in 305 children and with a median age of 9.4 years, receiving orthotopic PC between 1990 and 2012 (Italian Pediatric Ross Registry), was undertaken. Descriptive, univariate, and Kaplan-Meier analysis defined outcome. There were three (5.2%) early and five (9.0%) late deaths, during a median follow-up of 7.6 years (range 2 months-23 years). Patients having XG had trend toward higher hospital mortality (2/27 vs. 1/31, P = 0.2), but similar late mortality (2/24 vs. 3/30, P = 0.3). Overall survival was 88 and 62%, while freedom from PC replacement was 49 and 21%, at 10 and 20 years, respectively. The latter proved significantly worse than freedom from orthotopic PC replacement, which was 94 ± 2 and 70 ± 9% at 10 and 20 years (P = 0.02). When stratified for type of heterotopic PC, late survival proved comparable (81 and 81% for XG vs. 92 and 60% for HG, at 10 and 20 years, respectively, P = 0.7). However, freedom from PC replacement was significantly higher in patients with heterotopic HG (21 and 5% for XG vs. 63 and 48% for HG, at 10 and 20 years, respectively, P = 0.001). RVOT repair using either XG or HG in heterotopic position is a safe procedure associated with low hospital mortality and satisfactory late survival. Freedom from reoperation is significantly lower than that observed in age-matched children having orthotopic HG. Freedom from reoperation in heterotopic XG is poorer than in HG, although different baseline demography may have influenced this finding.
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