Vascular structure in lung tissue obtained at biopsy correlated with pulmonary hemodynamic findings after repair of congenital heart defects.
At the time of surgical repair, a lung biopsy was performed on patients with congenital heart defects who either had pulmonary hypertension or in whom it would be likely to develop if the lesion were not corrected. Pulmonary vascular changes, assessed morphometrically and also according to the classification of Heath and Edwards (Circulation 18: 533, 1958), were correlated with the postoperative pulmonary hemodynamic findings: mean pulmonary arterial pressure the day after correction and mean pulmonary arterial pressure and pulmonary vascular resistance measured 1 year later. On the first postoperative day, increased mean pulmonary arterial pressure was uncommon in patients with morphometric grade A or B (mild) biopsy findings and Heath-Edwards grade N (normal), and if it was present it was of a mild degree. Mean pulmonary arterial pressure was commonly elevated in those with grade B (severe) or C (mild or severe) and Heath-Edwards grade I biopsy results and was more frequently elevated in those with grade II findings. Moderate-to-severe elevation of mean pulmonary arterial pressure was invariable in patients with Heath-Edwards grade III changes regardless of the morphometric grade. One year after repair, mean pulmonary arterial pressure and/or pulmonary vascular resistance were normal in all patients whose conditions were corrected surgically before 9 months of age regardless of the severity of the pulmonary vascular changes. Values were normal in patients whose conditions were repaired surgically at 9 months of age or later who had grade A or B (mild) morphometric findings with any Heath-Edwards grade or grade B (severe) morphometric findings with Heath-Edwards grade I but were increased in half of the patients with grade B (severe) morphometric findings and Heath-Edwards grade II or with grade C (mild or severe) and Heath-Edwards grade I or II changes. Pulmonary arterial pressure and pulmonary vascular resistance were increased in all patients whose conditions were repaired after 2 years of age with grade C morphometric findings and to a severe degree if associated with Heath-Edwards grade III. Thus, although the Heath-Edwards grade can usually be used to identify patients at risk for pulmonary hypertension in the early postoperative period, both the morphometric and the Heath-Edwards grades as well as the age of the patient at the time of repair can be used to determine whether pulmonary arterial pressure and resistance eventually return to normal or remain elevated.
- Copyright © 1984 by American Heart Association