Permanent complete heart block following surgical correction of congenital heart disease
AbstractBackground: The risk of complete heart block (CHB) from congenital heart repairs in Ghana is unknown. This information is important for referring physicians and in pre-operative counselling of patients and facilitates the process of obtaining informed consent for such repairs.
Objectives: This study was undertaken to determine the incidence of permanent post-operative CHB requiring pacemaker implantation; and the post-operative problems related to the pacemaker.
Design: Retrospective study design.
Setting: The National Cardiothoracic Centre (NCTC), Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital, Accra, Ghana.
Method: Review of all patients who had intra-cardiac repair of congenital heart disease known to predispose to post-operative complete heart block from January 1993 to December 2008 was carried out with computation of the frequency of complete heart block according to the intra-operative diagnoses.
Results: Six out of 242 patients (2.5%) developed permanent post-operative CHB. All underwent closure of a large perimembranous ventricular septal defect (VSD) either as an isolated defect (2 of 151 or 1.3%) or in the setting of conotruncal anomalies (4 of 73 or 5.5%). The dominant parental concern relating to the implanted device was the financial implications of future multiple surgeries to replace a depleted pulse generator.
Conclusion: Permanent post-operative complete heart block occurred in 1.3% of patients undergoing VSD repair and 5.5% of those undergoing repair of conotruncal anomalies (Fallot’s tetralogy). The dominant anatomic risk factor was a large perimembranous VSD as an isolated defect or as part of a conotruncal anomaly. Permanent pacemaker implantation in this setting is attended by a low morbidity.
Articles published in the Ghana Medical Journal may not be published elsewhere without the consent of the publishers. Request for consent for reproduction of material published in the Ghana Medical Journal should be addressed to the Editor-in-Chief. The publisher of this Journal reserves the right of copyright of all articles published in the Journal. It should also be understood by all authors that articles approved for publication in the journal are also deemed for publication online by the publisher.
Ghana Medical Journal is an Open Access journal and applies the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (Creative Commons Attribution License) 4.0 International. See details on the Creative Commons website (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) to articles and other content published in the Journal.