Sudden Death Due to Coronary Artery Lesions Long-term After the Arterial Switch Operation: A Systematic Review.

Sebastiaan W.H. van Wijk*, Femke van der Stelt, Henriëtte ter Heide, Paul H. Schoof, Pieter A.F.M. Doevendans, Folkert J. Meijboom, Johannes M.P.J. Breur

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background The arterial switch operation (ASO) is the preferred procedure for children with dextrotransposition of the great arteries or Taussig-Bing anomaly. Short- as well as long-term outcome of ASO are excellent, but coronary artery stenoses are reported as a common long-term complication. It has been hypothesized that these might result in sudden cardiac death late after ASO. Methods A systematic search of PubMed and EMBASE was conducted to evaluate sudden cardiac death because of coronary complications late after ASO. Data on patients surviving ≥ 5 years post-ASO were collected from selected studies, corrected for duplicate data, and analyzed. Results After duplicate data correction 52 studies remained for data analysis. Among the 8798 survivors with follow-up, 27 patients died ≥ 5 years post-ASO (0.3%). Of these patients, 10 were known with relevant residual lesions. Five late deaths were sudden, possibly from a cardiac cause. None of the late sudden deaths were confirmed to be coronary-related. Conclusions Sudden cardiac death in asymptomatic patients as a result of coronary artery stenosis or occlusion is extremely rare, with 5 possible cases and no proven cases of coronary artery-related sudden cardiac death in 8798 patients with 66,450 patient follow-up years. Therefore, routine coronary imaging of asymptomatic, single-stage ASO patients is not justified.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1180-1187
Number of pages8
JournalThe Canadian Journal of Cardiology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2017


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