Pulmonary regurgitation in large atrial shunts without pulmonary hypertension.
Seven patients with pulmonary regurgitation (PR), normal pulmonary artery (PA) pressures and large left-to-right atrial shunts are reported. Six had secundum atrial septal defects (ASD) and one had anomalous pulmonary venous drainage. These comprised 4% of 180 patients with atrial shunts and normal PA pressures. Pulmonary regurgitation was diagnosed clinically by mid-frequency diastolic decrescendo murmurs beginning after the pulmonic component of the second heart sound, and diagnoses were confirmed by catheterization. In two patients who had serial preoperative catheterizations over 8 and 16 years, PR progressed in one and was present only on the second study in the other. All patients underwent shunt correction, at which time the pulmonic anulus and artery appeared dilated, but the pulmonic valves were normal and did not require revision. In all patients the PR murmur disappeared after shunt correction alone, and on chest X-ray both PA and overall heart size decreased. Although it is known that pulmonary regurgitation occurs with atrial septal defects and pulmonary hypertension, the present study demonstrates that it also occurs with high flow atrial shunts, in which setting it has different implications and is reversible with shunt correction alone.
- Copyright © 1976 by American Heart Association