Objective: Extracardiac and lateral tunnel total cavopulmonary connection are currently 2 major options for patients with a single ventricle physiology. However, each procedure has some disadvantages over the other. We developed a new technique of extracardiac total cavopulmonary connection using a tissue-engineered graft to overcome some of the disadvantages previously associated with both the extracardiac and lateral tunnel procedures. Methods: Between February 2001 and October 2002, 8 patients underwent an extracardiac total cavopulmonary connection using a tissue-engineered graft in our institution. Collected bone marrow cells (1 × 108 mononucleocytes) from a patient (∼ 1-4 mL/kg body weight) were seeded onto a biodegradable scaffold composed of polycaprolactone-polylactic acid copolymer reinforced with woven polylactic acid. After a 2- to 4-hour cultivation, the seeded scaffold was implanted as an extracardiac conduit during the total cavopulmonary connection operation. Results: There were no hospital or late deaths. At a mean follow-up of 13.4 months (range 4-25 months), all patients are alive and asymptomatic with no need for repeat surgery. A postoperative catheter examination or computed tomography showed all tissue-engineered grafts to be patent and revealed no stenosis, obstruction, or aneurysmal change in the 8 patients. Conclusion: We believe that extracardiac total cavopulmonary connection using a tissue-engineered graft has the potential to overcome some of the disadvantages previously associated with extracardiac or lateral tunnel total cavopulmonary connection. However, an extended follow-up period is required to clarify the long-term clinical outcome for the tissue-engineered graft.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine