Critical pulmonary valve stenosis or atresia with intact ventricular septum is a rare congenital cardiac defect that can be technically difficult to alleviate in the catheterization laboratory. Over the past 10 years, several techniques and modifications with variable results have been advocated to facilitate the valvuloplasty procedure. This report describes a single operator's experience using various techniques in 28 neonates with critical pulmonary stenosis or atresia who were considered candidates for transcatheter intervention. The first two patients underwent a gradational balloon valvuloplasty approach that resulted in prolonged fluoroscopy exposure. Thereafter, a "snare assisted" umbilical artery approach was developed which facilitated the valvuloplasty procedure and resulted in significantly fewer balloons used and shorter fluoroscopy times. Early in our experience, stiff guidewire perforation of atretic pulmonary valves was used, whereas in our last two patients, a simplified perforation technique with a new 0.9-mm excimer laser catheter was used. Late echocardiographic and clinical follow-up evaluation in 27 patients demonstrates persistent gradient relief, resolution of tricuspid valve insufficiency, and elimination of right to left shunting at the atrial level. Balloon valvuloplasty is the treatment of choice for critical pulmonary valve stenosis or atresia with intact ventricular septum. When necessary, the use of umbilical artery "snare assistance" facilitates the valvuloplasty technique and shortens procedure time while laser perforation is currently preferable for perforation of the atretic pulmonary valve.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine