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Acute histological changes of the lung after experimental Fontan circulation in a swine model

Meletios A. Kanakis, Michalis Katsimpoulas, Nikolaos Kavantzas, Nikolaos Kostomitsopoulos, Constantinos Dimitriou, Achilleas Lioulias, Alkiviadis Kostakis, Fotios Mitropoulos

Med Sci Monit 2012; 18(9): BR362-365

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.883346

Background:    Histological changes of the lungs were studied after the establishment of a modified total cavopulmonary connection (TCPC) without the use of cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) or other means of temporary bypass on a swine model.
    Material/Methods:    8 open chest-anesthetized pigs Landrace x Large White pigs (mean weight 43kg, mean age 4.5 months) underwent TCPC by the use of an appropriate size Y-shaped conduit connecting the superior and inferior caval veins (end-to-end anastomosis) to the pulmonary trunk (end-to-side anastomosis). After sternotomy, a wedge resection of the lung parenchyma was performed at baseline. Hemodynamic stability was sustained after TCPC establishment and 2 hours later another wedge resection of the lung was performed (from the same anatomic area). Histological studies were conducted by hematoxylin and eosin staining.
    Results:    All samples (n=8) at baseline were consistent with normal lung parenchyma. After the establishment of TCPC, all samples (n=8) revealed moderate mononuclear infiltration adjacent to pulmonary alveoli and bronchioles, findings compatible with bronchiolitis.
    Conclusions:    In a normal swine model, 2 hours after the establishment of Fontan circulation without the use of CPB, pathologic examination of the lungs revealed bronchiolitis. Further research is needed to clarify these findings and the potential implications to the Fontan circulation, either immediate or long-term.

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