Early Surgical Closure of Atrial Septal Defect Improves Clinical Status of Symptomatic Young Children with Underlying Pulmonary Abnormalities

Takeshi Tsuda, Ryan R. Davies, Wolfgang Radtke, Christian Pizarro, Abdul M. Bhat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Elective closure of atrial septal defect (ASD) is usually recommended during preschool ages. However, ASD may contribute to deteriorating health in the presence of significant comorbidity and, thus, may need earlier closure. There is a lack of clarity regarding the indications for and outcomes after ASD closure in infancy and early childhood. We investigated the benefits and safety of surgical ASD closure in symptomatic patients under 2 years of age. Retrospective chart review was conducted in patients who underwent surgical ASD closure within the first 2 years of life. Of 31 symptomatic ASD patients, 22 had persistent respiratory symptoms, 24 failure to thrive, and 9 pulmonary hypertension. Overall, 26 patients (84.0%) showed clinical improvement after ASD closure, including improved respiratory status (17/22; 77.3%), resumption of normal growth (15/24; 62.5%), and resolution of pulmonary hypertension (7/7; 100%, 2 patients unable to assess postoperatively). Two medically complicated patients died a few months after surgery unrelated to surgical complications. Four out of 8 ventilator-dependent patients were weaned from mechanical ventilation within 1 month after ASD closure. Closure of ASD did not improve those patients with highly advanced lung disease and/or medically complex conditions including underlying genetic abnormalities. Surgical complications were uncommon. Postoperative hospital stay was 4 to 298 days (median 8 days). The majority of our patients demonstrated significant clinical improvement after ASD closure. Early ASD closure is safe and beneficial for symptomatic infants and young children with associated underlying pulmonary abnormalities, especially bronchopulmonary dysplasia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1115-1124
Number of pages10
JournalPediatric Cardiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Atrial septal defect (ASD)
  • Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD)
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Failure to thrive (FTT)
  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Respiratory distress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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