Effects of Pulmonary Regurgitation on Distensibility and Flow of the Branch Pulmonary Arteries in Tetralogy of Fallot

Voser, Eva ; Kellenberger, Christian ; Buechel, Emanuela

In: Pediatric Cardiology, 2013, vol. 34, no. 5, p. 1118-1124

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    Significant pulmonary regurgitation (PR) after repair of tetralogy of Fallot (TOF) may affect flow in the pulmonary artery (PA) side branches. We sought to assess flow changes and distensibility of the PA side branches in vivo and test correlation with the degree of PR and right-ventricular (RV) dilatation. Thirty patients after TOF repair and 16 controls underwent cardiovascular magnetic resonance for quantification of RV volumes and measurement of flow in the PA side branches. RV volumes and function, blood flow volumes, and cross-sectional area of the main, left (LPA), and right (RPA) PA were measured and regurgitant volumes and distensibility calculated. Results were compared between the LPA and the RPA and between patients and controls. Median regurgitation fraction of PR was 41% (range 22-60%). Regurgitant fraction was greater in the LPA (40%) than in the RPA (29%), resulting in lower net flow into the LPA (p<0.001). LPA area was significantly greater than that of the RPA (303.9 vs. 232.7mm2/m2) (p<0.0001). The LPA showed lower distensibility than the RPA (39 vs. 44%). PA side branch distensibility correlated with MPA regurgitant volume (p=0.001), MPA regurgitant fraction (p=0.001), and RV end-diastolic volume (p=0.03). PA side branches have greater distensibility in patients with PR than in normal subjects. Significant PR leads to changes in flow profile and distensibility of the PA side branches. The LPA shows greater regurgitant volume and greater area but lower distensibility than the RPA