Pulmonary arteriovenous malformations (PAVMs) can occur following caval to pulmonary artery connection, Glenn and/or Fontan procedure, leading to severe cyanosis and exercise intolerance. It is unknown whether these abnormalities regress or persist following heart transplantation (HTx). Twenty patients with failed Fontan or Glenn procedures were screened for PAVMs prior to HTx by contrast echocardiography, selective pulmonary angiography, and pulmonary venous desaturation. Age at transplant, diagnosis, previous operations, time from Glenn to transplant, systemic oxygenation, hemoglobin level, and ventricular function were determined. The clinical course after HTx was characterized in three patients with significant PAVMs. Indications for HTx were exercise intolerance and severe cyanosis in one patient, and cyanosis and ventricular dysfunction in two. Pre-HTx, mean systemic saturation was 67%; mean pulmonary venous wedge saturation was 81%. Post-HTx, oxygen saturations were normal (>96%) at 14, 40, and 180 days. Contrast echocardiography, performed 1 month to 3.3 yrs after HTx, showed no intrapulmonary shunting in two patients and minimal shunting in one. One patient suffered an embolic stroke from right-to-left shunting post-HTx. All patients are alive and well 35, 71, and 73 months post-HTx. In patients with single ventricle physiology, PAVMs are not an absolute contraindication to HTx. Heart-lung transplant may not be required for these patients.
- Heart defects
- Pulmonary arteriovenous malformations
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health