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A superior cavopulmonary connection is commonly performed before the Fontan procedure in patients with a functionally univentricular heart. Data are limited regarding associations between a prior superior cavopulmonary connection and functional and ventricular performance late after the Fontan procedure.
We compared characteristics of those with and without prior superior cavopulmonary connection among 546 subjects enrolled in the Pediatric Heart Network Fontan Cross-Sectional Study. We further compared different superior cavopulmonary connection techniques: bidirectional cavopulmonary anastomosis (n equals 229), bilateral bidirectional cavopulmonary anastomosis (n equals 39), and hemi-Fontan (n equals 114).
A prior superior cavopulmonary connection was performed in 408 subjects (75%); the proportion differed by year of Fontan surgery and centre (p-value less than 0.0001 for each). The average age at Fontan was similar, 3.5 years in those with superior cavopulmonary connection versus 3.2 years in those without (p-value equals 0.4). The type of superior cavopulmonary connection varied by site (p-value less than 0.001) and was related to the type of Fontan procedure. Exercise performance, echocardiographic variables, and predominant rhythm did not differ by superior cavopulmonary connection status or among superior cavopulmonary connection types. Using a test of interaction, findings did not vary according to an underlying diagnosis of hypoplastic left heart syndrome.
After controlling for subject and era factors, most long-term outcomes in subjects with a prior superior cavopulmonary connection did not differ substantially from those without this procedure. The type of superior cavopulmonary connection varied significantly by centre, but late outcomes were similar.
Despite improvements in outcomes after completion of the Fontan circulation, long-term functional state varies. We sought to identify pre- and postoperative characteristics associated with overall function.
Methods and Results
We analyzed data from 476 survivors with the Fontan circulation enrolled in the Pediatric Heart Network Fontan Cross-sectional Study. Mean age at creation of the Fontan circulation was 3.4 plus or minus 2.1 years, with a range from 0.7 to 17.5 years, and time since completion was 8.7 plus or minus 3.4 years, the range being from 1.1 to 17.3 years. We calculated a functional score for the survivors by averaging the percentile ranks of ventricular ejection fraction, maximal consumption of oxygen, the physical summary score for the Child Health Questionnaire, and a function of brain natriuretic peptide. The mean calculated score was 49.5 plus or minus 17.3, with a range from 3 to 87. After adjustment for time since completion of the circulation, we found that a lower score, and hence worse functional state, was associated with: right ventricular morphology (p less than 0.001), higher ventricular end-diastolic pressure (p equals 0.003) and lower saturations of oxygen (p equals 0.047) prior to completion of the Fontan circulation, lower income for the caregiver (p equals 0.003), and, in subjects without a prior superior cavopulmonary anastomosis, arrhythmias after completion of the circulation (p equals 0.003). The model explained almost one-fifth (18%) of the variation in the calculated scores. The score was not associated with surgical centre, sex, age, weight, fenestration, or the period of stay in hospital after completion of the Fontan circuit. A validation model, using 71 subjects randomly excluded from initial analysis, weakly correlated (R equals 0.17, p equals 0.16) with the score calculated from the dataset.
Right ventricular morphology, higher ventricular end-diastolic pressure and lower saturations of oxygen prior to completion of the Fontan circuit, lower income for the provider of care, and arrhythmias after creation of the circuit, are all associated with a worse functional state. Unmeasured factors also influence outcomes.
The structural complexity of the right ventricle has made quantitative evaluation difficult. Conventional cross-sectional echocardiographic methods are limited by geometric assumptions and the position of the planes used for imaging. Previous reports have demonstrated accurate three-dimensional echocardiographic quantitation of the right ventricle in-vitro and in experimental animals. We adapted a previously described method for three-dimensional reconstruction of the left ventricle to compute right ventricular volume and ejection fraction in a clinical setting.
We examined 29 patients aged from 2 to 42 years with pulmonary hypertension, by three-dimensional echocardiography and resonance imaging. Correlation and agreement were calculated for volumes and ejection fractions. Three-dimensional echocardiographic reconstruction, when compared to resonance imaging, yielded r values of 0.95 and 0.93, and mean differences (bias) of 31% ± 19% and 33% ± 18%, for systolic and diastolic volumes respectively. Interobserver variability was low (12.9% and 8.0%). Ejection fraction as calculated by three-dimensional echocardiography showed close agreement with resonance images (bias=l% ±7%). Three dimensional echocardiography is now a method of measuring right ventricular ejection fraction in the clinical setting which produces results comparable to those of resonance imaging. Volume measurements correlated well for systole and diastole, but consistently underestimated values produced from resonance images.
We present the eighth published case of divided left atrium co-existing with tetralogy of Fallot. This is the first report of preoperative echocardiographic diagnosis of this unusual combination of defects. Demonstration of a partition within the left atrium is imperative for successful repair of the combined lesions. We draw attention to the need for careful echocardiography in patients where an obstruction to pulmonary venous drainage would dramatically affect the outcome subsequent to surgical correction.
We describe an infant with hypoplasia of the left heart diagnosed prenatally who, at birth, had signs of severe pulmonary venous obstruction. Echocardiography indicated normally connecting pulmonary veins, and showed a paradoxical right-to-left shunt across a patent oval foramen. Postmortem examination revealed that the obstruction was due to a divided left atrium, or cor triatriatum sinister, with an imperforate muscular diaphragm separating completely the two components of the divided atrium.
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