BMC Cardiovasc Disord. 2013; 13: 67.



In adults, impaired myocardial repolarization and increased risk of arrhythmia are known consequences of open heart surgery. Little is known, however, about post-operative consequences of cardiopulmonary bypass surgery in children. The aim of this study was to assess ventricular repolarization and coronary perfusion after bypass surgery for atrial septal defect (ASD) repair in children.


Twelve patients with ASD were assessed one day before and 5–6 days after ASD repair. Myocardial repolarization (corrected QT interval, QTc, QT dispersion, QTd, and PQ interval) was determined on 12-lead electrocardiograms. Coronary flow in proximal left anterior descending artery (peak flow velocity in diastole, PFVd) was assessed by transthoracic Doppler echocardiography.


Ten of the 12 (83%) children had normal myocardial repolarization before and after surgery. After surgery, QTc increased 1-9% in 5 (42%) patients, decreased 2-11% in 5 (42%) patients and did not change in 2 (16%) patients. Post-op QTc positively correlated with bypass time (R=0.686, p=0.014) and changes in PFVd (R=0.741, p=0.006). After surgery, QTd increased 33-67% in 4 (33%) patients, decreased 25-50% in 6 patients (50%) and did not change in 2 (16%) patients. After surgery, PQ interval increased 5-30% in 4 (33%) patients, decreased 4-29% in 6 (50%) patients and did not change in 1 (8%) patient. Post-op PQ positively correlated with bypass time (R=0.636, p=0.027). As previously reported, PFVd significantly increased after surgery (p<0.001).


Changes in QTc, PQ and PFVd are common in young children undergoing surgery for ASD repair. Post-op QTc significantly correlates with bypass time, suggesting prolonged cardiopulmonary bypass may impair ventricular repolarization. Post-op QTc significantly correlates with PFVd changes, suggesting increased coronary flow may also impair ventricular repolarization. The clinical significance and reversibility of these alternations require further investigations.

Keywords: ECG, ASD, Repolarization, Heart surgery

Join the Missouri Perfusion Society to Read the Full Article.

Members have unlimited access to our article archives, reduced meeting registration fees, and more!

Join Now