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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Modification of the Fontan procedure. Superior vena cava to left pulmonary artery connection and inferior vena cava to right pulmonary artery connection with adjustable atrial septal defect.

BACKGROUND: A modification of the Fontan procedure with unidirectional cavopulmonary connection is described in which the superior vena cava (SVC) is connected to the left pulmonary artery (PA) and the inferior vena cava (IVC) is connected to the right PA via a lateral tunnel with a snare-controlled, adjustable atrial septal defect ( ASD). This allows matching of the SVC and IVC flows with the lung of appropriate size. The obligatory left Glenn shunt provides an adequate arterial oxygen saturation, and the elevation in SVC pressure is well tolerated. The adjustable ASD allows selective decompression of the IVC that maintains cardiac output and reduces fluid accumulation in the serous cavities. METHODS AND RESULTS: Since March 1992, we have performed this procedure in 18 patients. There were 17 children and 1 adult. Median age was 3 years and 9 months (range, 13 months to 36 years). Six patients had been staged with a previous bidirectional Glenn shunt. Preoperative cardiac catheterization revealed a PA pressure of 13 +/- 2 mm Hg and a transpulmonary gradient of 5 +/- 3 mm Hg. Ventricular function was satisfactory in all patients. At the completion of bypass, the pressures in the SVC and IVC were 16 +/- 4 mm Hg and 10 +/- 3 mm Hg, respectively (P < .01). The left atrial pressure was 6.0 +/- 3.0 mm Hg and the arterial O2 saturation on 100% oxygen was 93 +/- 3%. There was one death as a result of intractable atrial arrhythmias. The remaining 17 patients had a mean hospital stay of 9.7 days (6 to 18 days). The length of pleural drainage was 7 +/- 3 days. The ASD was adjusted in 11 patients before discharge. Oxygen saturation at discharge was 85.4 +/- 4%. Nine patients had repeat catheterization. The ASD was completely closed in 6 patients, an average of 2.5 months after surgery (range, 3 weeks to 5 months). After ASD closure, the arterial oxygen saturation was 96 +/- 3%, and the SVC and IVC pressures were both 13 +/- 3 mm Hg. CONCLUSIONS: The Fontan procedure with unidirectional cavopulmonary connection and adjustable ASD has several advantages that may reduce mortality and morbidity for the high-risk Fontan candidate.[1]


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