Reconstruction of right ventricular outflow tract in neonates and infants using valved cryopreserved femoral vein homografts

Published:December 16, 2013DOI:


      Aortic or pulmonary homografts (A/PHs) are common biomaterials used for restoration of right ventricle to pulmonary artery continuity for repair of various congenital heart defects. The smaller sized homografts required for early primary repair in neonates and infants are prone to early failure and are in short supply. Due to these limitations, since 2008 it has been our preference to use valved segments of cryopreserved femoral vein homograft (cFVH) for right ventricle to pulmonary artery reconstruction. This study was undertaken to assess the performance of cFVH compared with A/PH in neonates and infants.


      A retrospective review of all infants and neonates who underwent biventricular early primary repair with right ventricle to pulmonary artery reconstruction using homograft conduits at a single center was conducted. Patients who received cFVH constituted the study group, whereas all other patients received A/PH and formed the control group. Patients with pulmonary atresia, ventricular septal defect, and major aortopulmonary collaterals who had conduits placed to promote pulmonary artery growth or to unifocalized pulmonary vasculature were excluded from the study because they have different clinical indications for reoperation and reintervention. Demographic, anatomical, perioperative, and follow-up variables were compared between the groups using univariate and multivariable Cox regression analyses. Kaplan-Meier analysis and log-rank tests were used to identify intergroup differences in freedom from catheter intervention, reoperation, or overall freedom from reintervention (catheter and/or surgical).


      A total of 36 patients (20 cFVH and 16 A/PH) were included in the study. There were no intergroup differences in the demographic, anatomic, and perioperative variables, except for significantly shorter aortic crossclamp time in the cFVH group. Univariate analysis revealed a higher catheter reintervention rate as well as higher reoperation rate in the A/PH group. Multivariate Cox regression correcting for the intergroup differences in the length of follow-up revealed comparable freedom from catheter intervention, freedom from reoperation, or freedom from either intervention in the cFVH and the A/PH groups.


      Valved femoral vein homografts have comparable short- and intermediate-term performance to A/PHs for right ventricular outflow tract reconstruction and are an attractive alternative to other small conduits for use in neonates and infants.

      CTSNet classification

      Abbreviations and Acronyms:

      A/PH (aortic or pulmonary homograft), cFVH (cryopreserved femoral vein homograft), RVOT (right ventricular outflow tract), RV-PA (right ventricle to pulmonary artery)
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