BACKGROUND: Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in childhood has a considerable morbidity and mortality and high incidence of heart transplantation. Pulmonary artery banding (PAB) has been proposed in patients with corrected transposition of the great arteries to retrain the sub-pulmonic left ventricle (LV) and to improve a failing sub-aortic right ventricle. We evaluated the short-term and medium-term effects of PAB in young patients with LVDCM.
METHODS: A retrospective single-center observational study was performed to evaluate the possible benefits of a dilatable surgical PAB in infants and young children with LVDCM.
RESULTS: Reported are 12 patients (10 infants, 2 toddlers) with LVDCM referred for heart transplant who received a surgical PAB. There were no hospital deaths. Clinical functional status improved in all patients. The pressure gradient across the PAB increased within 20 days from 28 ± 7 to 43 ± 15 mm Hg. The LV ejection fraction increased from 14.5% ± 5% pre-PAB to 27% ± 13% at hospital discharge and to 47% ± 10% at 3 to 6 months. The LV end-diastolic diameter (z-score) decreased (p > 0.001) from 46 ± 6.1 (+7.0 ± 1.3) to 35 ± 15 mm (+3.0 ± 1.3) after 3 to 6 months and to 34 ± 15 mm (+1.3 ± 1.14) after a median age of 2 years (maximum 6.6 years), respectively. Plasma B-type natriuretic peptide levels decreased from 3431 ± 2610 to 288 ± 321 pg/ml at discharge and to 102 ± 96 pg/ml 22 months later. Eight children were subsequently de-banded by transcatheter technique and 6 of them are currently at Ross Heart Failure Classification for Children class I. Two patients, both with non-compaction DCM, deteriorated at 5 and 6 months after PAB debanding and finally died.
CONCLUSIONS: In young children with LVDCM and still-preserved right ventricular function, PAB led to an improvement of LV and mitral valve function by ventricular interaction.