Background - Prospective data on long-term survival and clinical outcome beyond 30 years after surgical correction of tetralogy of Fallot are nonexistent. Methods and Results - This longitudinal cohort study consists of the 144 patients with tetralogy of Fallot who underwent surgical repair at <15 years of age between 1968 and 1980 in our center. They are investigated every 10 years. Cumulative survival (data available for 136 patients) was 72% after 40 years. Late mortality was due to heart failure and ventricular fibrillation. Seventy-two of 80 eligible survivors (90%) participated in the third in-hospital investigation, consisting of ECG, Holter, echocardiography, cardiopulmonary exercise testing, N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide measurement, cardiac magnetic resonance (including dobutamine stress testing), and the Short Form-36 questionnaire. Median follow-up was 36 years (range, 31-43 years). Cumulative event-free survival was 25% after 40 years. Subjective health status was comparable to that in the normal Dutch population. Although systolic right and left ventricular function declined, peak exercise capacity remained stable. There was no progression of aortic root dilation. A previous shunt operation, low temperature during surgery, and early postoperative arrhythmias were found to predict late mortality (hazard ratio, 2.9, 1.1, and 2.5, respectively). An increase in QRS duration and a deterioration of exercise tolerance and ventricular dysfunction did not predict mortality. Insertion of a transannular patch was a predictor for late arrhythmias (hazard ratio, 4.0; 95% confidence interval, 1.2-13.4). CONCLUSIONS - Although many patients needed a reoperation or developed arrhythmias, late mortality was low, and the clinical condition and subjective health status of most patients remained good. Previous shunt, low temperature during surgery, and early postoperative arrhythmias were found to predict late mortality.

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Keywords arrhythmias, cardiac, follow-up studies, morbidity, survival, tetralogy of Fallot
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Journal Circulation (Baltimore)
Cuypers, J.A.A.E, Menting, M.E, Konings, E.E.M, Opic, P, Utens, E.M.W.J, Helbing, W.A, … Roos-Hesselink, J.W. (2014). Unnatural history of tetralogy of fallot: Prospective follow-up of 40 years after surgical correction. Circulation (Baltimore), 130(22), 1944–1953. doi:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.114.009454