Risk factors for acute shunt blockage in children after modified Blalock-Taussig shunt operations

Malenke Gedicke, Gareth Morgan*, Andrew Parry, Rob Martin, Rob Tulloh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


Factors relating to acute blockage of modified Blalock-Taussig shunts (MBTS) have not been well described in the literature. Our aim was to determine the outcomes in patients early after undergoing MBTS operations and to identify potential risk factors for acute shunt blockage in the early postoperative period. A retrospective study was performed in a tertiary referral congenital cardiac unit. All children who underwent first shunt insertion for cyanotic congenital heart disease during the study period from 2002 to 2006 were included. Seventy-six children underwent first shunt insertion with a median age of 37 days (range 2 days-8 years) and median weight of 3.75 kg (range 2.1-17.2 kg). The shunt sizes varied from 3 to 6 mm. The rate of acute shunt blockage was 11.8% (9/76), all within the first 24 h. There were 3 early deaths (3.9%), none of which were associated with shunt blockage. The main risk factors for blockage were preoperative high hemoglobin, weight less than 3 kg, and duct patency on echocardiogram after surgery. This study identifies that high preoperative hemoglobin, a weight less than 3 kg at operation, and the presence of a patent duct are statistically significant risk factors for shunt blockage in the acute postoperative period. Further work is needed to determine if reduction in preoperative hemoglobin concentration and attempts to reduce postoperative ductal patency may alter the outcome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)405-409
Number of pages5
JournalHeart and Vessels
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2010


  • Biomarkers
  • Blood Vessel Prosthesis Implantation
  • Body Weight
  • Cardiac Surgical Procedures
  • Cardiopulmonary Bypass
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Ductus Arteriosus, Patent
  • England
  • Female
  • Graft Occlusion, Vascular
  • Heart Defects, Congenital
  • Hemodynamics
  • Hemoglobins
  • Hospital Mortality
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Thoracotomy
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Journal Article


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