Background: Pericardial effusion occurs frequently after surgical atrial septal defect closure. This complication carries the risk of development of cardiac tamponade and death. It is also the responsibility of the hospital for readmissions. Any measure in preventing the development of pericardial effusion is of paramount importance. In this report, our objective was to demonstrate the protective effect of creating a pleuropericardial window against the development of postsurgical pericardial effusion.
Methods: Hospital records of all patients who underwent surgical atrial septal defect closure between January 2015 and December 2020 were reviewed. Patients were divided into 2 groups according to the creation of right/left pleuropericardial window during surgical ASD closure. There were 45 patients in group I in which a right pleuropericardial window was done, and 85 patients constituted group II in which pericardium was left intact.
Results: None of the 45 patients in group I developed pericardial effusion, while 15 of 85 patients in group II developed pericardial effusion (P =.001). Ten patients developed more than mild pericardial effusion which required medical treatment, while 5 patients had to be re-hospitalized because of massive pericardial effusion and effusions were managed by percutaneous drainage.
Conclusions: The creation of a right pleuropericardial window resulted in a safe postoperative recovery after surgical atrial septal defect closure in all patients with the development of no pericardial effusion. No adverse effect of the creation of a pleural communication was noted.
Copyright © 2024 The Anatolian Journal of Cardiology