Surgical Decision Making in Neonatal Ebstein’s Anomaly: An Algorithmic Approach Based on 48 Consecutive Neonates

Christopher J. Knott-Craig, Steven P. Goldberg, Jean A. Ballweg, Umar S. Boston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Objective: There is currently no consensus of opinion regarding the optimal surgical management of Ebstein’s anomaly (EA) in neonates and young infants. Reported early mortality rates range from 25% to 100%. In this study, we present an algorithm for choosing the best management option for neonates with EA based on analysis of our experience. Patients and Methods: From 1994 to June, 2011, 48 neonates with a diagnosis of EA were managed by the same surgical team. Of these, two died before intervention; the remaining 46 either were managed medically initially (n = 20) or underwent surgical intervention during the neonatal period (n = 26) or early infancy (n = 9). Results: The mean weight was 3.6 ± 1.7 kg (1.9-8.6) and mean follow-up time was 6.3 ± 4.5 years (0.2-16). Of the 20 patients initially managed medically, 11 remain well without intervention and nine required complete repair in infancy, with 100% survival. Of the 26 neonatal operations, 23 (88%) were complete biventricular repairs, 1 Starnes’ palliation, and two Blalock–Taussig shunts (BTSs) ± pulmonary valvotomy. Among those having a two-ventricle repair, anatomic pulmonary atresia (APA) was a risk factor for early mortality (46.1%, 6 of 13) compared with those without pulmonary atresia (EA/no-PA; 10%, 1 of 10), P < .05. Conclusions: Most symptomatic neonates with EA will require early operation. For those with APA and mild tricuspid regurgitation (TR), a modified BTS and reduction atrioplasty may be the best initial option. For those with functional pulmonary atresia and severe TR and pulmonary regurgitation, ligation of the main pulmonary artery and placement of a BTS may provide the best initial palliation. For the rest, either a biventricular repair or a single-ventricle palliation is indicated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16-20
Number of pages5
JournalWorld Journal for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • congenital heart surgery
  • neonate
  • pediatric
  • tricuspid valve

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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