AJP Rep 2019 Apr 9;9(2):e121-e126. Epub 2019 Apr 9.
Division of Pediatric Cardiology, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas.
Congenital absence of the aortic valve leaflets is a rare association with hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS). A 37-year-old pregnant woman was referred for fetal evaluation of possible HLHS at 22 weeks of gestation. The fetal echocardiogram (ECHO) was remarkable for a hypoplastic left atrium, nearly atretic mitral valve, small left ventricle, and a hypoplastic aortic valve with severe aortic insufficiency. A female infant was born at term and postnatal ECHO confirmed the above findings. In addition, there was complete absence of the aortic valve leaflets. The patient underwent Norwood's procedure at day 5 of life with atrial septectomy, over-sewing of the aortic valve annulus, and a 4 mm Sano's shunt between the right ventricle and the main pulmonary artery. She tolerated this surgery well and subsequently underwent a bidirectional Glenn's procedure at 8 months of life. Prenatal diagnosis of absent aortic valve should be suspected in the presence of severe aortic insufficiency in the fetal ECHO. Early postnatal intervention is critical as those patients are likely to deteriorate quickly. The over-sewing of the aortic valve may be important to prevent coronary steal and myocardial hypoperfusion which could potentially be detrimental.