The Effect on Somatic Growth of Surgical and Catheter Treatment of Secundum Atrial Septal Defects

Meghan M. Chlebowski, Hongying Dai, Stephen F. Kaine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Historical studies suggest an association between atrial septal defect (ASD) and impaired growth with inconsistent improvement following closure. Limited data exist regarding the impact on growth in the era of transcatheter therapy. To evaluate the effect of closure on growth, we conducted a retrospective review of patients undergoing surgical or transcatheter closure during two time periods. Four hundred patients with isolated secundum ASD were divided into three cohorts: early surgical, contemporary surgical, and transcatheter. Data collected included demographics; height, weight, and body mass index (BMI) percentiles; catheterization hemodynamics; and co-morbidities. For all cohorts, there was no significant change in height or weight percentiles during two years after ASD closure. Age at repair was later for contemporary surgical and transcatheter cohorts (p < 0.0001). In the transcatheter cohort, mean Qp:Qs was 1.65 ± 0.54, but there was no correlation between greater Qp:Qs and decreased somatic growth. Subgroup analysis for patients with any initial growth percentile <5th percentile demonstrated a significant change in weight and BMI percentiles in the first two years after closure (p < 0.0004). The advent of transcatheter therapy shifted institutional practice to later age at repair for both surgical and transcatheter closure. There was no significant change in weight and height percentiles during two years after closure. Only patients with initial weight and BMI <5th percentile had improved growth after treatment. Concern for impaired growth should not generally be an indication for early ASD repair. However, early repair may be indicated in children with existing significant growth failure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1410-1414
Number of pages5
JournalPediatric cardiology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Atrial septal defect
  • Children
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Growth
  • Intervention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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