Sudden death after repair of tetralogy of Fallot. Electrocardiographic and electrophysiologic abnormalities.
In order to try to determine the mechanism of sudded death in patients after surgical repair of tetralogy of Fallot, electrocardiographic, intracardiac electrophysiologic, and clinical data of 51 children who had postoperative intracardiac electrophysiologic studies were reviewed. Ninety-four percent had developed right bundle branch block (RBBB) and 16 percent had additional left anterior hemiblock (LAH). Two had had transient complete A-V block (CAVB) and one had permanent CAVB. Six had a first degree A-V block and nine had premature ventricular contractions (PVC). Nine patients were found to have prolonged intra-atrial conduction times, four prolonged A-V nodal conduction, four prolonged His-Purkinje conduction, and five prolonged corrected sinus node recovery times. Patients with first degree A-V block or LAH did not have an increased incidence of abnormalities on electrophysiologic study. No patient with RBBB and LAH developed complete A-V block or died. Three of the nine patients with PVCs died, one of intractable ventricular fibrillation and two suddenly, presumably of dysrhythmia. All three had significant congestive heart failure. Although late complete A-V block occurs and should be watched for, ventricular dysrhythmias in patients with PVCs may be the cause of most sudden deaths after tetralogy repair. We currently are treating all of our postoperative tetralogy patients who have PVCs with quinidine or propranolol.
- Copyright © 1977 by American Heart Association