Long-term outcome after the arterial switch operation: 43 years of experience

Roel L.F. van der Palen, Nico A. Blom, Irene M. Kuipers, Lukas A.J. Rammeloo, Monique R.M. Jongbloed, Thelma C. Konings, Berto J. Bouma, David R. Koolbergen, Mark G. Hazekamp

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OBJECTIVES: The objective of this study was to assess our 43-year experience with arterial switch operation (ASO) for transposition of the great arteries (TGA) by analysing cardiac outcome measures (hospital and late mortality, reoperations and catheter interventions, significant coronary artery obstruction) and to identify risk factors for reoperation and catheter interventions. METHODS: A total of 490 patients who underwent ASO for TGA from 1977 to 2020 were included in this retrospective, single-centre study. Data on reoperation and catheter intervention of hospital survivors were estimated by the Kaplan–Meier method and compared using a long-rank test. Risk factors for reoperation and/or catheter intervention were assessed by multivariate Cox regression analysis. RESULTS: Hospital mortality occurred in 43 patients (8.8%), late death in 12 patients (2.9%) and 43 patients were lost to follow-up. Median follow-up time of 413 hospital survivors was 15.6 (interquartile range 7.0–22.4) years. Reoperations were performed in 83 patients (117 reoperations). Neoaortic valve regurgitation with root dilatation was the second most common indication for reoperation (15/83 patients, 18.1%) after right ventricular outflow tract obstruction (50/83 patients, 60.2%). Risk factors for any reoperation on multivariable analysis were: TGA morphological subtype [TGA with ventricular septal defect: hazard ratio (HR) = 1.99, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.18–3.36; P = 0.010 and Taussig-Bing: HR = 2.17, 95% CI 1.02–4.64; P = 0.045], aortic arch repair associated with ASO (HR = 3.03, 95% CI 1.62–5.69; P = 0.001) and a non-usual coronary artery anatomy (HR = 2.41, 95% CI 1.45–4.00; P = 0.001). One hundred and one catheter interventions were performed in 54 patients, usually for relief of supravalvular pulmonary stenosis (44/54 patients, 81.5%) or arch obstruction (10/54 patients, 18.5%). Main risk factor for catheter intervention on multivariable analysis was aortic arch repair associated with ASO (HR = 2.95, 95% CI 1.37–6.36; P = 0.006). Significant coronary artery stenosis was relatively uncommon (9/413 patients, 2.2%) but may be underrepresented. CONCLUSIONS: Patients after ASO typically have good long-term clinical outcomes but reoperations and interventions remain necessary in some patients. Neoaortic valve regurgitation with root dilatation is the second most common indication for reoperation after right ventricular outflow tract obstruction and an increasing need for neoaortic valve and root redo surgery in future is to be expected.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)968-977
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean journal of cardio-thoracic surgery
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2021


  • Arterial switch operation
  • Intervention
  • Reoperation
  • Transposition of the great arteries

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