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December 29, 2021

Change the Name of the Blalock-Taussig Shunt to Blalock-Thomas-Taussig Shunt

Author Affiliations
  • 1American Medical Association, Washington, DC
  • 2The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland
  • 3Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois
  • 4Deputy Editor, JAMA Cardiology
JAMA Surg. 2022;157(4):287-288. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2021.5611

In 1945, a landmark report published in JAMA by Alfred Blalock, MD, and Helen Taussig, MD, described 3 cases in which surgical anastomosis of the subclavian or innominate artery to a pulmonary artery was performed in individuals with cyanotic congenital heart disease.1 The procedure successfully relieved cyanosis and the eponymous approach known as the Blalock-Taussig (B-T) shunt became commonplace. The procedure as originally described is now rarely performed; a modified B-T shunt (MBTS) created using a GORE-TEX tube graft prosthesis is commonly performed today. Clinical data submitted to the Society of Thoracic Surgeons Congenital Heart Surgery Database by participating centers about patients who have undergone the MBTS now form the evolving fund of knowledge that is the basis of a steady stream of peer-reviewed publications.2

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