Pulmonary artery sling: Results with median sternotomy, cardiopulmonary bypass, and reimplantation

Carl L. Backer, Constantine Mavroudis, Michael E. Dunham, Lauren D. Holinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


Background. The classic surgical approach to pulmonary artery (PA) sling has been through a left thoracotomy with division of the left PA and reimplantation into the main PA anterior to the trachea. Another approach is anterior left PA translocation with distal tracheal resection. Since 1985, we have repaired PA sling with a median sternotomy approach, cardiopulmonary bypass, and division and reimplantation of the left PA into the main PA with simultaneous repair of associated tracheal stenosis. The purpose of this review is to determine the outcome of that strategy. Methods. From 1985 to 1998, 16 infants had surgical treatment of PA sling, 14 had left PA division and reimplantation into the MPA, 2 patients had repair using the translocation technique. Mean age at repair was 6.9 months, median age was 4 months. All infants, except 1 with an absent right lung, were operated on at the time of diagnosis. All had rigid bronchoscopy, which revealed associated complete tracheal rings in 12 patients. Seven patients had tracheal repair with pericardial tracheoplasty, 4 had repair using a tracheal autograft technique, and 2 had a distal tracheal resection (one for tracheomalacia). Of the 2 patients having the translocation technique, 1 had a severely hypoplastic right lung and the other had complete absence of the right lung. Results. There has been no operative mortality. Hospital stay ranged from 5 to 188 days (mean 36 ± 42 days). There was 1 late death 7 months postoperatively from respiratory complications of pericardial tracheoplasty. All left pulmonary arteries are patent and blood flow to the left lung by nuclear scan (n = 10) ranges from 24% to 46% (mean 35% ± 9%). Conclusion. The strategy of median sternotomy, cardiopulmonary bypass, and left PA division and reimplantation into the main PA with simultaneous tracheal repair has resulted in a low operative mortality and excellent patency of the left pulmonary artery. Results with repair of the commonly associated complete tracheal rings has recently improved with the use of the free tracheal autograft technique.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1738-1744
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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