Transcatheter Closure of Atrial Septal Defects: Initial Clinical Applications
Shahar Zimand, Einat Birk, Mira Frand, Patricia Benjamin, Julius Hegesh
Dept. of Pediatric Cardiology, Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer and Schneider Medical Center, Petah Tikva
The incidence of congenital heart defects is 0.8% of live-born infants. Of these 13% are ostium secundum atrial septal defects (ASD) which can be successfully repaired by open heart surgery with less than 1% mortality. However, morbidity associated with cardiac surgery is universal. Transcatheter closure of ASDs was introduced 2 decades ago to decrease surgical complications, hospital stay and cost. Few devices have undergone clinical trials but all of them have been associated with instances of failure and complications. The most important mechanism for acute failure was selection of cases with too large a defect or selection of a defective device. In the past decade great progress has been made with the aid of transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) and modifications of the device. We present our experience in our first 5 patients. They ranged in age from 4 to 27 years; the ASD diameter was 11-15 mm and the device diameter was 17-33 mm. All transcatheter closures were performed on the same day without any complications, and all patients were discharged home after 2 days of hospitalization. We conclude that transcatheter occlusion of ASDs up to 15 mm is feasible, relatively safe and effective. This transcatheter method appears to be a viable alternative to surgery for some patients with secundum atrial septal defects.