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Surgical management of the scimitar syndrome

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Bob Anderson


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© 2021 Wiley Periodicals LLC. Background and Aim: We sought to address the varied anatomical details, the diagnostic challenges, associated cardiopulmonary anomalies, the techniques, and outcomes of management, including re-interventions of scimitar syndrome. Methods: A total of 92 published investigations of scimitar syndrome were reviewed. Diagnostic information was provided by clinical presentations, radiographic findings, transthoracic and transesophageal echocardiography, computed-tomographic angiography, magnetic resonance imaging, angiocardiography, and ventilation/perfusion scans. These investigations served to elucidate the origin, course, and termination of the scimitar vein, the intracardiac anatomy, the presence of associated defects, and the patterns of any accompanying pulmonary lesions prior to surgical intervention. Results: Of the patients described, up to four-fifths presented during infancy, with cardiac failure, increased pulmonary flow, and pulmonary hypertension. Associated cardiac and extracardiac defects, particularly hypoplasia of the right lung, are present in up to three-quarters of cases. Overall operative mortality has been cited between 4.8% and 5.9%. Mortality was highest in patients with preoperative pulmonary hypertension, and those undergoing surgery in infancy. Despite timely surgical intervention, post-repair obstruction of the scimitar vein, intra-atrial baffle obstruction, or stenosis of the inferior caval vein were reported in up to two-thirds of cases. The venous obstruction could not be related to any particular surgical technique. On long term follow-up, one sixth of patients reported persistent dyspnoea and recurrent respiratory infections. Conclusions: Any infants presenting with heart failure, right-sided heart, and hypoplastic right lung should be evaluated to exclude the syndrome. An increased appreciation of variables will contribute to improved surgical management.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Chowdhury UK, Anderson RH, Sankhyan LK, George N, Pandey NN, Chauhan AS, Arora Y, Goja S

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Cardiac Surgery

Year: 2021

Volume: 36

Issue: 10

Pages: 3770-3795

Online publication date: 16/08/2021

Acceptance date: 18/07/2021

ISSN (print): 0886-0440

ISSN (electronic): 1540-8191

Publisher: John Wiley and Sons Inc


DOI: 10.1111/jocs.15857