Background. Profound understanding of the left ventricular outflow tract (LVOT) anatomy is crucial to improve surgical results in patients with aortic arch obstruction, ventricular septal defect, and subaortic stenosis. Methods. We studied the morphology of the LVOT in 32 postmortem hearts with aortic arch obstruction and a ventricular septal defect. In case of subaortic obstruction, the length of the subaortic muscular component was measured anteriorly and posteriorly within the left ventricle. Results. Seven of the 32 hearts had no subaortic stenosis. Nine had aortic override, which caused LVOT narrowing. Sixteen hearts contained a subaortic shelf, down-stream to the ventricular septal defect, which deviated into the left ventricle in 15. In 10 of these the shelf was muscular; in 6 it was a fibrous ridge. In cases with a muscular shelf, the posterior part was significantly shorter than the anterior part (p < 0.004). In 9 hearts the LVOT was further narrowed because of the abnormal relationship between the mitral valve and the subaortic shelf. Conclusions. The present study confirms the complexity of LVOT stenosis in aortic arch obstruction and ventricular septal defect and provides a better understanding of the options to achieve surgical relief.
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