Modelling coronary flow after the Norwood operation: Influence of a suggested novel technique for coronary transfer


  • Mohammed K Al-Jughiman Prince Sultan Cardiac Center, Al-Ahsa, Saudi Arabia
  • Maryam A Al-Omair King Faisal University, Al-Ahsa, Saudi Arabia



Background: The dynamic behavior of the aortic sinuses has an important function in the specific characteristics of coronary blood flow. Several publications have confirmed suboptimal myocardial perfusion after the Norwood procedure. Our study was undertaken to confirm four hypotheses. First, we hypothesized that there is more resistance to coronary flow due to coronary attachments to hypoplastic aortic root and sinuses. Also, as the amalgamation of the ascending aorta with the pulmonary artery occurs above the aortic root, the coronary blood flow is not fully in antegrade pattern. Second, performing the Norwood with our modification i.e., coronary transfer to the well-developed sinuses of the pulmonary root will result in less resistance to flow and a full antegrade flow pattern. This may eventually improve the long term ventricular and survival outcomes. Third, our modification is applicable to all procedures where the pulmonary root supplies the systemic circulation e.g., Norwood, Damus–Kaye–Stansel (DKS), and Yasui operations, whether applied to single or biventricular repair. Fourth, with our modification, the effect of the type of shunt; Sano vs. Blalock Taussig (BT shunt) on the coronary flow after the Norwood will be mitigated. This will give the surgeon more freedom to which shunt to use, and may make the surgeon keener to perform the BT shunt in order to avoid the ventricular scar associated with the Sano shunt which will negatively impact the ventricular function.

Methods: Computational fluid dynamic (CFD) simulations were performed to evaluate flow streamlines and to quantify flow distribution and total pressure drop in the coronary branches
in both Norwood (pre-transfer) and modified Norwood (post-transfer) models. Comparisons between the two models were performed.

Results: The systolic flow rate in all coronary branches was higher in the post-transfer model in the proportions of: left main 5%, left anterior descending (LAD) 6%, left circumflex (LCx) 3.5%, and right coronary artery (RCA) 7.2% higher flow rates. In diastole, pressure drop from the aortic inlet to distal left main and distal right main was substantially less in the post-transfer model.

Conclusion: Post-transfer model has produced more favorable coronary hemodynamics in all coronary branches. As a result, performing our modification could potentially improve the long term ventricular and survival outcomes. 






Early communication