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Surgical management of divided atrial chambers

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Bob Anderson


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© 2021 Wiley Periodicals LLC. Background and Aim: The morphological variations when one, or both, of the atrial chambers is subdivided, are many and varied. We sought to address clinical presentations, potentially misdiagnosed cases, diagnostic modalities, surgical approaches, and outcomes of this “family” of uncommon lesions. Methods: A total of 193 published investigations were synthesized. Diagnostic information was provided by clinical presentation, and multimodality imaging studies. Results: Almost three-quarters of patients with divided atrial chambers present during infancy with severe pulmonary hypertension and cardiac failure. Associated cardiac and extra-cardiac defects are present in between half and nine-tenths of cases. Acquired division of the left atrium has been reported after the Fontan operation, orthotopic cardiac transplantation, and complicated aortic valvar infective endocarditis. Surgery under cardiopulmonary bypass remains the definitive treatment. Balloon dilation may be considered in anatomically compatible variants in the setting of cardiac failure and pregnancy as a bridge todefinitive treatment. Overall, mortality has been cited between nil to 29%. Presentation during infancy, associated congenital anomalies, pulmonary hypertension, and surgery in the previous era, have been the reported causes of death. The operative survivors have long-term favourable outcomes, with near normal cardiac dimensions and low risk of recurrence. While asymptomatic patients with division of the right atrium do not need treatment, surgical resection of the dividing partition under cardiopulmonary bypass is recommended in symptomatic patients with complex anatomy, the spinnaker malformation, or associated cardiac anomalies. Balloon dilation may be considered in uncomplicated patients with less obstructive lesions. Hybrid intervention and endoscopic robotic correction also have been performed. Conclusions: Resection of the dividing shelf allows the survivors to regain near normal dimensions with a low risk of recurrence. We submit that an increased appreciation of the anatomic background to division of the atrial chambers will contribute to improved surgical management.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Sankhyan LK, Anderson RH, Chowdhury UK, George N, Pradeep D, Vaswani P, Pandey NN, Arvind B

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Cardiac Surgery

Year: 2021

Volume: 36

Issue: 11

Pages: 4267-4279

Print publication date: 01/11/2021

Online publication date: 15/08/2021

Acceptance date: 14/07/2021

ISSN (print): 0886-0440

ISSN (electronic): 1540-8191

Publisher: John Wiley and Sons Inc


DOI: 10.1111/jocs.15896