Is vertical vein ligation necessary in repair of total anomalous pulmonary venous connection?

Jeffrey T. Cope, David Banks, Nancy L. McDaniel, Kimberly S. Shockey, Stanton P. Nolan, Irving L. Kron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Background. In the repair of total anomalous venous connection, vertical vein ligation is recommended to eliminate left-to-right shunting. However, the small left heart chambers may not always tolerate the immediate increase in blood now after combined repair and vein ligation. Methods. A retrospective review of 23 infants and children undergoing correction of total anomalous pulmonary venous connection was undertaken to determine whether vertical vein ligation is a necessary component of successful surgical repair. In 14 patients this vein was ligated, whereas in 9 it was left patent. Six patients who undenvent ligation and 5 who did not had pulmonary venous obstruction before operation. Results. The operative mortality rate was 36% (5 of 14 patients) for the ligated group compared with 0% (0 of 9 patients) for the nonligated group (p = 0.06). All deaths occurred in patients with preoperative obstruction and a low mean left atrial pressure, and four of the deaths were directly attributable to left heart failure. Follow-up echocardiography in patients in whom the vertical vein was not ligated revealed adequate cardiac function and no residual left-to-right flow through the previously patent venous conduit. Conclusion. Vertical vein ligation during the repair of total anomalous pulmonary venous connection is not routinely necessary and actually may be undesirable in patients with preoperative obstruction, in whom the left heart chambers are particularly small.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-29
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1997

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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