Background. Postoperative course of the Norwood procedure is fragile because of an unstable pulmonary to systemic blood flow ratio caused by fluctuation of systemic and pulmonary vascular resistance. Methods. Twenty-seven patients with hypoplastic left heart syndrome who underwent the Norwood procedure from June 1998 to February 2002 were managed with the following low-resistance strategy. Intraoperative high-flow and low-resistance cardiopulmonary bypass was achieved with total avoidance of circulatory arrest and a large dose of chlorpromazine. In weaning from the bypass, pulmonary vascular resistance was maximally decreased by inspired oxygen fraction (100%), inhaled nitric oxide (20 ppm), and nitroglycerin (2 to 4 μg/kg/min). Then pulmonary blood flow was determined by adjusting the systemic to pulmonary shunt. Postoperatively, with continuous infusion of chlorpromazine and nitroglycerin as a systemic and pulmonary vasodilator, the inspired oxygen fraction and inhaled nitric oxide were tapered as the arterial oxygen saturation improved. Results. In most patients, inhaled nitrous oxide and inspired oxygen fraction were weaned within 3 days. The postoperative course was stable with minimum changes in circulatory and respiratory status for the survivors. Patients were extubated on a median of 6 postoperative days. Early mortality was 11.1% (3 of 27), and none of the patients died of hemodynamic deterioration. Conclusions. The low resistance strategy is a simple and useful method for perioperative management of the Norwood procedure, minimizing fluctuation in both pulmonary and systemic vascular resistance and maintaining stable circulatory and respiratory status.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine