Histology of pulmonary arterial supply in pulmonary atresia with ventricular septal defect.
A histologic study was performed on 22 specimens of pulmonary atresia with ventricular septal defect to 1) ascertain the existence of the main pulmonary artery; 2) distinguish the ductus arteriosus from the systemic collateral arteries (SCA); 3) establish the nutritive or functional nature of collateral circulation; and 4) evaluate the morphology of the distal pulmonary bed. Three cases had absent main pulmonary artery, one with and two without signs of infundibular septation. We suggest that absent main pulmonary artery may exist with both infundibular pulmonary atresia and persistent truncus arteriosus. SCAs have been found to have similar histological features as systemic muscular arteries of the same size--their medial muscular layer merges gradually into an elastic one at different depth inside the lungs. Injection of contrast material allowed us to demonstrate that these vessels are functional, since they inosculate into efficient pulmonary arteries ending in the respiratory units. When the distal pulmonary vascular bed is perfused by large SCAs, proliferative lesions like those found in large left-to-right shunts may occur. Early in infancy, banding of large, nonstenotic SCAs could protect the distal pulmonary vasculature. Moreover, total surgical repair should be associated with ligation of the SCA to avoid residual left-to-right shunt, if the pulmonary arteries can carry the full pulmonary blood flow.
- Copyright © 1979 by American Heart Association