Impact of initial Norwood shunt type on young hypoplastic left heart syndrome patients listed for heart transplant: A multi-institutional study

Academic Article


  • Background Pulmonary blood flow during Stage 1 (Norwood) palliation for hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) is achieved via modified Blalock-Taussig shunt (MBT) or right ventricle to pulmonary artery conduit (RVPA). Controversy exists regarding the differential impact of shunt type on outcome among those who require transplantation early in life. In this study we explored waitlist and post-transplant outcomes within this sub-population stratified by shunt type. Methods Eligible patients were enrolled through the Pediatric Heart Transplant Study (PHTS) database. Patients included those listed for heart transplantation at 1 of 35 participating centers, all of whom were <6 years of age and with a diagnosis of HLHS (and variants) status post Stage 1 palliation with MBT or RVPA. Standard risk factors for death were analyzed using multivariable hazards modeling. Results Between 2010 and 2013, 190 patients were identified. Compared with the RVPA group (n = 111), the MBT group (n = 79) was less likely to have undergone a Glenn palliation (41% vs 73%, p < 0.001), were younger at listing (median age 1.3 vs 1.8 years, p = 0.05), had lower median weight (7.9 vs 9.4 kg, p = 0.02), and were more likely to be mechanically ventilated at listing (35% vs 22%, p = 0.04). There were no significant differences in median waitlist time (1.7 vs 2.6 months, p = 0.2) or rate of transplantation (61% vs 60%, p = 1.0). Among waitlisted patients, 3-month survival was less for MBT compared with RVPA patients (74% vs 91%, p = 0.02). Patients who had not yet achieved Glenn palliation before listing had lower waitlist 3-month survival (76% vs 90%, p = 0.02). In MBT infants <1 year old, there was a trend toward improved survival in those with Glenn palliation compared to those without (100% vs 68%, p = 0.08). Early post-transplant mortality rates were similar between the RVPA and MBT groups (p = 0.4) with overall survival 84% at 1 year. Conclusions Among HLHS patients, the need for transplant before Glenn palliation is associated with poorer waitlist survival. Waitlist survival is poorer in the MBT group, with this difference driven by pre-Glenn MBT infants. Post-transplant outcomes were unaffected by shunt type.
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    Author List

  • Carlo WF; West SC; McCulloch M; Naftel DC; Pruitt E; Kirklin JK; Hubbard M; Molina KM; Gajarski R
  • Start Page

  • 301
  • End Page

  • 305
  • Volume

  • 35
  • Issue

  • 3