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The indications, timing, and results of the so-called “one-and-a-half ventricle repair”, as a surgical alternative to the creation of the Fontan circulation, or high-risk biventricular repair, currently remain nebulous. We aimed to clarify these issues.
We reviewed a total of 201 investigations, assessing selection of candidates, the need for atrial septal fenestration, the fate of an unligated azygos vein and free pulmonary regurgitation, the concerns regarding reverse pulsatile flow in the superior caval vein, the growth potential and function of the subpulmonary ventricle, and the role of the superior cavopulmonary connections as an interstage procedure prior to biventricular repair, or as a salvage procedure. We also assessed subsequent eligibility for conversion to biventricular repair and long-term functional results.
Reported operative mortalities ranged from 3% to 20%, depending on the era of surgical repair with 7% risk of complications due to a pulsatile superior caval vein, up to one-third incidence of supraventricular arrhythmias, and a small risk of anastomotic takedown of the superior cavopulmonary connection. Actuarial survival was between 80% and 90% at 10 years, with two-thirds of patients in good shape after 20 years. We found no reported instances of plastic bronchitis, protein-losing enteropathy, or hepatic cirrhosis.
The so-called “one-and-a-half ventricular repair”, which is better described as production of one-and-a-half circulations can be performed as a definitive palliative procedure with an acceptable risk similar to that of conversion to the Fontan circulation. The operation reduces the surgical risk for biventricular repair and reverses the Fontan paradox.
Management of “failing” and “failed” Fontan circulation, particularly the indications, timing, and type of re-intervention, currently remains nebulous. Factors contributing to pathogenesis and mortality following Fontan procedure differ between children and adults.
Since organ systems in individual patients are affected differently, we searched the extant literature for a “failing” and “failed” Fontan reviewing the clinical phenotypes, diagnostic modalities, pharmacological, non-pharmacological, and surgical techniques employed, and their outcomes.
A total of 410 investigations were synthesised. Although proper candidate selection, thoughtful technical modifications, timely deployment of mechanical support devices, tissue-engineered conduits, and Fontan takedown have decreased the peri-operative mortality from 9 to 15% and 1 to 3% per cent in recent series, pernicious changes in organ function are causing long-term patient attrition. In the setting of a failed Fontan circulation, literature documents three surgical options: Fontan revision, Fontan conversion, or cardiac transplantation. The reported morbidity of 25% and mortality of 8–10% among Fontan conversion continue to improve in select institutions. While operative mortality following cardiac transplantation for Fontan failure is 30% higher than for other CHDs, there is no difference in long-term survival with actuarial 10-year survival of around 54%. Mechanical circulatory assistance, stem cells, and tissue-engineered Fontan conduit for destination therapy or as a bridge to transplantation are in infancy for failing Fontan circulation.
An individualised management strategy according to clinical phenotypes may delay the organ damage in patients with a failing Fontan circulation. At present, cardiac transplantation remains the last stage of palliation with gradually improving outcomes.
Aortopulmonary window with interrupted aortic arch is rarely reported beyond infancy. Pre-operative assessment and surgical repair are challenging. We report successful surgical repair of aortopulmonary window with interrupted aortic arch in a 6-year-old girl with near-normal pulmonary artery pressure immediately following surgery.
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