A Five‐Year Clinical Experience with 112 Blalock‐Taussig Shunts

Jeffrey P. Gold, Kimon Violaris, Mary Allen Engle, Arthur A. Klein, Kathryn H. Ehlers, Samuel J. Lang, Aaron R. Levin, Frank Moran, John E. O'Loughlin, Michael S. Snyder, Nunzia Fatica, Daniel S. Notterman, O. Wayne Isom

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43 Scopus citations


In spite of recent advances in neonatal open repair for complex cyanotic heart disease, some patients require palliation with a systemic‐to‐pulmonary artery shunt. We report a 5‐year experience (1985–1990) with 112 Blalock‐Taussig shunts. Forty‐six of the 92 patients had some variant of tetralogy of Fallot, with a wide spectrum of diagnoses in the remainder. The median age at surgery was 3 months. A classic Blalock‐Taussig shunt was done in 26% (group I), and a 4‐ or 5‐mm PTFE graft was utilized in the remainder (group II). The technical aspects of each of the procedures are reviewed. There were three early deaths in the entire group, none of them related to Blalock‐Taussig shunt function. There was no incidence of early shunt insufficiency, bleeding, infection, limb ischemia, or pulmonary artery distortion. There was a 21% incidence of clinical congestive heart failure, seen somewhat more commonly in group I. The overall need for reshunting/open repair was similar in both groups, but there was a statistically longer interval between the initial Blalock‐Taussig shunt and the second procedure in group I (21.6 vs 12.4 months). The Blalock‐Taussig shunt remains a safe, reliable, and effective means of increasing pulmonary flow. J Card Surg 1993; 8:9–17

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9-17
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Cardiac Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1993
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


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