The intra-extracardiac Fontan: preliminary results
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Since the intra-extracardiac Fontan (IECF) was popularized by Jonas in 2008, its claimed advantages over the traditional extracardiac or lateral tunnel Fontan are simplicity, suitability for nearly all subsets, flow characteristics, low risk of sinus node artery injury, and possibly, a lower incidence of arrhythmias. In this paper, we present our early experience with this modification of the Fontan operation.
Between 2009 and 2018, 10 patients underwent IECF on cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) and cardioplegic arrest at our institute. Analysis of preoperative, intraoperative, and early follow-up results was performed. A polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) graft was sutured proximally to the orifice of the inferior vena cava (IVC) and distally to the ipsilateral bidirectional superior cavopulmonary (BSCP) junction.
Nine patients had undergone a previous BSCP connection, and one patient had a primary IECF. Diagnoses were double outlet right ventricle (n = 2), unbalanced atrioventricular septal defect with associated atrioventricular valve regurgitation (n = 3), single ventricle with anomalies of cardiac situs (n = 2), and tricuspid atresia with borderline pulmonary arteries (n = 1) or tricuspid atresia with borderline pulmonary artery pressures (n = 2). Median aortic cross-clamp and CPB times were 42 min and 82 min respectively. There were no early or late deaths. Median intensive care stay was 3 days (1 to 23 days). There were no arrhythmias. Mean duration of pleural effusions was 9.5 (median 5.5) days. There were no arrhythmias at a median follow-up of 5 years (range 1 month to 9.3 years).
The IECF is simple, particularly at reoperations, in borderline patients and those needing concomitant intracardiac procedures. Early results are promising. These patients need constant surveillance.
KeywordsFontan Extracardiac Intracardiac
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Statement of human rights/ethical approval
All procedures performed in this study were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. For this study, formal ethics committee clearance was not required.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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