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Determining bronchial morphology for the purposes of segregating so-called heterotaxy

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Bob Anderson


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Introduction Heterotaxy is a unique clinical entity in which lateralisation of the thoraco-abdominal organs is abnormal, typically with isomerism of the bronchial tree and atrial appendages. This study was carried out to determine whether routine clinical imaging such as chest radiographs, angiographic images, and CT/MRI can determine bronchial isomerism, and how sidedness of bronchial isomerism correlates with overall features anticipated in hearts with isomeric atrial appendages.Methods and results We identified 73 patients with heterotaxy, in whom imaging clearly demonstrated the bronchial tree, seen at our institution since 1998. We calculated bronchial angles and lengths using all the available imaging modalities to determine the presence and sidedness of bronchial isomerism. This was then compared with the anticipated presence of isomeric atrial appendages based on the overall clinical findings, as the appendages themselves had not specifically been imaged. The ratio of bronchial lengths revealed bronchial isomerism in all patients, with bronchial angles permitting distinction of right as opposed to left isomerism. We noted discordances between the identified bronchial isomerism and the presumed arrangement of the atrial appendages in nearly 20% of the patients in our cohort.Conclusion Routine clinical imaging with chest radiographs, angiographic imaging, and CT/MRI can determine the presence of bronchial isomerism in patients with so-called heterotaxy. Right as opposed to left isomerism can be distinguished based on bronchial angles. The finding of bronchial isomerism correlates well, but not totally, with the presumed isomerism of the atrial appendages as predicted from the identified intra-cardiac morphology.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Loomba RS, Pelech AN, Shah PH, Anderson RH

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Cardiology in the Young

Year: 2016

Volume: 26

Issue: 4

Pages: 725-737

Print publication date: 01/04/2016

Online publication date: 10/07/2015

Acceptance date: 29/05/2015

ISSN (print): 1047-9511

ISSN (electronic): 1467-1107

Publisher: Cambridge University Press


DOI: 10.1017/S1047951115001195


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