18 years of the Fontan operation at a single institution: Results from 771 consecutive patients

Lindsay S. Rogers, Andrew C. Glatz, Chitra Ravishankar, Thomas L. Spray, Susan C. Nicolson, Jack Rychik, Christina Hayden Rush, J. William Gaynor, David J. Goldberg

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141 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives: The aim of this study was to evaluate Fontan peri-operative outcomes for 771 consecutive patients. Background: Since the initial description by Fontan, mortality associated with the Fontan operation has declined substantially. However, postoperative effusions remain a significant challenge. Effusions are a key determinant of postoperative length-of-stay and have been shown to be associated with the development of protein-losing enteropathy and with decreased survival. Methods: This study was a single-center, retrospective review of 771 patients who underwent Fontan palliation from 1992 to 2009. Results: Patients were divided into 3 eras dictated by shift in clinical practice. Overall mortality was 3.5%, 1% since 1996. Importantly, age at Stage II palliation decreased from Era 1 to Era 3 (7.1 vs. 5.9 months; p = 0.0001), whereas age at Fontan increased (1.7 vs. 2.8 years; p = 0.0001). The proportion of patients with prolonged hospital stay (46.7% vs. 8.2% vs. 19.5%, p < 0.001) decreased substantially after Era 1. A diagnosis of hypoplastic left heart syndrome and longer operative support times were associated with prolonged pleural drainage (odds ratio [OR]: 2.17, p < 0.001; OR: 1.2, p = 0.001) and hospital stay (OR: 1.48, p = 0.05; OR: 1.34, p < 0.001). In patients who underwent invasive assessment, higher pulmonary artery pressure was associated with death (OR: 1.37, p < 0.001) and prolonged hospital stay (OR: 1.09, p = 0.019). Pulmonary arterial pressure <15 mm Hg was 90% specific for discriminating unfavorable outcomes. Conclusions: Mortality in the modern era is rare, whereas postoperative pleural drainage remains the dominant morbidity. Elevated pulmonary artery pressure seems to be a marker of unfavorable outcome. Continued investigation is warranted to determine whether medical interventions or alterations to operative strategy can alter peri-operative results and improve long-term outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1018-1025
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American College of Cardiology
Volume60
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 11 2012

Keywords

  • Fontan procedure
  • cardiopulmonary bypass
  • congenital heart defects
  • single ventricle

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