Long-Term Follow-Up of Pediatric Patients After Congenital Coronary Artery Fistula Closure

Li X, Song L, Xu M, Zhang G, Jin J.Pediatr Cardiol. 2020 May 30. doi: 10.1007/s00246-020-02379-y. Online ahead of print.PMID: 32474739



The surgical closure of congenital coronary artery fistulas (CAF) is associated with excellent immediate outcomes. Few studies have investigated the long-term prognosis in patients who have undergone surgery for the closure of CAF or differentiated among types of CAF or types of surgical procedures. In this study, we performed clinical examinations and computed tomography angiography (CTA) to characterize outcomes after CAF closure in pediatric patients. The medical records of 79 pediatric patients who underwent surgical closure of CAF were retrospectively reviewed. The median age of the patients included in the study at the time of surgery was 3.4 years (range 0.2 to 15.3 years). The patients had been followed up for 11 years (range 1 to 17 years) with electrocardiography, echocardiography, and coronary CTA. There were 67 medium-to-large CAF and 12 small CAF. Twenty-six (32.9%) CAF arose from the branch coronary artery (proximal type); the others arose from the parent coronary artery (distal type). The surgical procedure included endocardial closure in 16 cases, epicardial distal ligation in 51 cases, epicardial proximal and distal ligation in 12 cases. There was no instance of perioperative death among the cases included in the study. Twenty-eight patients were treated with antiplatelet medication postoperatively. No patient required re-operation during the follow-up period. Coronary thrombi were detected in 27 patients (34.2%). There was no instance of myocardial ischemia related to thrombosis. Among the patients with thrombosis, 26 had medium-to-large CAF (96.3%), and 23 had distal-type CAF (85.2%). Average age at surgery was higher among the patients with thrombosis than among the patients without thrombosis (7.4 years vs. 3.3 years, t = 5.509, P = 0.000). Among the patients with distal-type CAF, thrombosis was more common among the patients treated with ligation than treated with endocardial closure (41.5% vs. 16.7%, χ2 = 3.742,P = 0.043). There was no difference in risk for thrombosis between the patients who did vs. did not receive antiplatelet therapy (P = 0.436). The most common complication after CAF closure was thrombosis. Increased risk for thrombosis was associated with large fistulae, distal-type CAF, and older age at presentation. Antiplatelet treatment did not appear to decrease the risk of thrombosis. Among patients with distal-type CAF, risk for thrombosis was lower among patients treated with endocardial closure, compared with patients treated with epicardial ligation.