Abdominal imaging of children and young adults with fontan circulation: Pathophysiology and surveillance

Govind B. Chavhan, Shi Joon Yoo, Christopher Z. Lam, Geetika Khanna

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE. The Fontan procedure has significantly improved the survival in children with a functional single ventricle, but it is associated with chronically elevated systemic venous pressure that leads to multisystemic complications. Imaging plays an important role in assessing these complications and guiding management. The pathophysiology, imaging modalities, and current surveillance recommendations are discussed and illustrated. CONCLUSION. Significant improvement in survival of patients with Fontan circulation is associated with ongoing cardiac and extracardiac comorbidities and multisystemic complications. The liver and intestines are particularly vulnerable to damage. In addition, this patient population has been shown to be at increased risk of certain malignancies such as hepatocellular carcinoma and neuroendocrine tumors. Familiarity with imaging findings of Fontan-associated liver disease and other abdominal complications of the Fontan circulation is essential for radiologists because we are likely to encounter these patients in our general practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-217
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Roentgenology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 2021


  • Abdominal complications
  • Children
  • Fontan surgery
  • Imaging
  • Intestine
  • Liver
  • Surveillance


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