Disturbances in Atrial Rhythm and Conduction Following the Surgical Creation of an Atrial Septal Defect by the Blalock-Hanlon Technique
Disturbances in atrial conduction or rhythm, or both, were found in 16 of 27 patients undergoing the surgical creation of an atrial septal defect by the Blalock-Hanlon technique. These included P-wave aberrations of intra-atrial block and ectopic atrial rhythm, A-V rhythm, A-V dissociation, sinus bradycardia, atrial flutter, escapecapture bigeminy, and atrial premature beats. Some of these were transient and occurred within 2 weeks after surgery. It seems likely that tissue trauma engendered by the clamp and resection of the atrial septum with possible injury to the internodal conducting pathways may be the genesis of these early postoperative disturbances. Of the eight cases with transient disturbances, six occurred in this period.
Later changes, such as intra-atrial block, sinus bradycardia, and atrial flutter, may be atttributed to changes in atrial size secondary to the postoperative pathophysiology. Digitalis intoxication and congestive heart failure cannot be excluded as contributory factors in either the early or the late disturbances.
It was not possible to correlate the incidence and nature of these disturbances with morbidity and mortality. In such severely ill, cyanotic infants, irregularities, however slight, may have altered cardiac function significantly and contributed to their deaths.
- Intra-atrial conducting systems
- Complete transposition of the great vessels
- Blalock-Hanlon procedure
- © 1968 American Heart Association, Inc.