Objective: This study aims to analyse the collective experience of participating European Congenital Heart Surgeons Association centres in the surgical management of complications resulting from trans-catheter closure of atrial septal defects (ASDs). Methods: The records of all (n = 56) patients, aged 3-70 years (median 18 years), who underwent surgery for complications of trans-catheter ASD closure in 19 participating institutions over a 10-year period (1997-2007) were retrospectively reviewed. Risk factors for surgical complications were sought. Surgical outcomes were compared with those reported for primary surgical ASD closure in the European Association of Cardio-thoracic Surgery Congenital Database. Results: A wide range of ASD sizes (5-34 mm) and devices of various types and sizes (range 12-60 mm) were involved, including 13 devices less than 20 mm. Complications leading to surgery included embolisation (n = 29), thrombosis/thrombo-embolism/cerebral ischaemia or stroke (n = 12), significant residual shunt (n = 12), aortic or atrial perforation or erosion (n = 9), haemopericardium with tamponade (n = 5), aortic or mitral valve injury (n = 2) and endocarditis (n = 1). Surgery (39 early emergent and 17 late operations) involved device removal, repair of damaged structures and ASD closure. Late operations were needed 12 days to 8 years (median 3 years) after device implantation. There were three hospital deaths (mortality 5.4%). During the same time period, mortality for all 4453 surgical ASD closures reported in the European Association of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery Congenital Database was 0.36% (p = 0.001). Conclusions: Trans-catheter device closure of ASDs, even in cases when small devices are used, can lead to significant complications requiring surgical intervention. Once a complication leading to surgery occurs, mortality is significantly greater than that of primary surgical ASD closure. Major complications can occur late after device placement. Therefore, lifelong follow-up of patients in whom ASDs have been closed by devices is mandatory.
- Atrial septal defect
- Trans-catheter device
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine