Catheterization, Surgery Compared for Infant Heart Defect

Catheter-delivered occluding device offers clear utilization advantages

THURSDAY, March 19 (HealthDay News) -- The transcatheter implantation of the Amplatzer duct occluder in infants to correct the congenital heart defect known as patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) is as effective as heart surgery with less risk of infection, a shorter hospital stay and less cost, according to a report in the March 15 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

Chu-Chuan Lin, M.D., of the Veterans General Hospital in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, and colleagues compared the outcomes of transcatheter procedures performed in a study group of 20 infants (3 months of age or younger) from 2003 to 2006 to a historical control group of 18 infants who underwent surgical ligation for the same condition from 1997 to 2002.

The investigators found that transcatheter closure of the PDA resulted in shorter mean hospital stays (9.0 days for the study group versus 14.7 days for the control group) and lower mean cost (145 for the study group and 245 for the control group [New Taiwan dollars, in thousands]). Infection occurred in 5 percent of the study group and 17 percent of the control group, the researchers report.

"In conclusion, percutaneous device occlusion with Amplatzer duct occluder in small, symptomatic infants is feasible and more cost-effective compared with surgery. In experienced hands with careful preprocedural evaluation and delicate manipulation, the safety of transcatheter closure with Amplatzer duct occluder in this age group can be assured and major complication avoided," the authors write.

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