Fourteen patients younger than two years of age with persistent truncus arteriosus underwent primary repair. Twelve of them were less than 1 year and 4 less than 3 months of age. Intractable heart failure was the indication for surgery in all patients but one who had increased pulmonary vascular resistance. There were 5 hospital and 2 late deaths. Six out of the 7 survivors (median follow-up: 29 months) were symptom-free. The remaining infant who preoperatively had significant truncal valve regurgitation was doing fairly well 2 1/2 years after repair. Our experience suggests that, although the mortality remains high, primary repair for infants with persistent truncus arteriosus is feasible and offers better overall results than does pulmonary artery banding followed by later intracardiac repair. We advise primary repair for all infants with intractable heart failure or increasing pulmonary vascular resistance with or without truncal valve regurgitation. Elective repair is recommended before the age of 2 years to minimize the risk of pulmonary vascular disease.
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