Percutaneous pulmonary valve implantation (PPVI) is a safe, less invasive alternative to surgical valve replacement for the congenital heart disease patient with right ventricular (RV) outflow tract dysfunction. The aim of this study was to determine whether reverse RV remodeling after PPVI was persistent in the longer term and whether timing of PPVI influenced outcomes.
Consecutive patients from the pediatric and adult congenital heart disease programs were enrolled. Cardiac MRI, echocardiography, metabolic exercise testing, chest radiography, and hemodynamics before intervention were compared with repeated follow-up measurements to assess changes over time. Fifty-one patients (including 23 patients <16 years old) were followed for a mean 4.5±1.9 (0.9-6.9) years after implantation, 59% of patients having available comparative cardiac MRI data. Freedom from any reintervention was 87% and 68% at 3 and 5 years, and freedom from surgery was 90% at 5 years. For every decade younger at implantation, there was an increase of 3.9%±1.0% in cardiac MRI left ventricular ejection fraction (P<0.001) and 2.4±0.9 mL/kg/min in maxVO2 (P=0.005) and a decrease of 0.7±0.2 cm in RV end-diastolic dimension (P<0.001) after intervention. Younger patients displayed an additional decline in the RV/left ventricular end-diastolic volume ratio (P=0.05) and trended toward improved RV ejection fraction in late follow-up (50%±7% versus 41%±12%, P=0.07).
This is the largest series to show that PPVI at a younger age yields incremental improvements in RV size and maximum oxygen consumption. Early valve implantation is associated with better RV function and should be considered in management planning for this population.