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Growing evidence has emphasised the importance of ventricular performance in functionally single-ventricle patients, particularly concerning diastolic function. Cardiac MRI has been proposed as non-invasive alternative to pre-Fontan cardiac catheterisation in selected patients.
Aim of the study:
To identify clinical and cardiac magnetic resonance predictors of high pre-Fontan end-diastolic ventricular pressure.
In a retrospective single-centre study, 38 patients with functionally univentricular heart candidate for Fontan intervention, who underwent pre-Fontan cardiac catheterisation, beside a comprehensive cardiac MRI, echocardiographic, and clinical assessment were included. Medical and surgical history, cardiac magnetic resonance, cardiac catheterisation, echocardiographic, and clinical data were recorded. We investigated the association between non-invasive parameters and cardiac catheterisation pre-Fontan risk factors, in particular with end-diastolic ventricular pressure. Moreover, the impact of conventional invasive pre-Fontan risk factor on post-operative outcome as also assessed.
Post-operative complications were associated with higher end-diastolic ventricular pressure and Mayo Clinic indexes (p < 0.01 and p = 0.05, respectively). At receiver operating characteristic curve analysis end-diastolic ventricular pressure ≥ 10.5 mmHg predicted post-operative complications with a sensitivity of 75% and specificity of 88% (AUC: 0.795, 95% CI 0.576;1.000, p < 0.05). At multivariate analysis, both systemic right ventricle (OR: 23.312, 95% CI: 2.704–200.979, p < 0.01) and superior caval vein indexed flow (OR: 0.996, 95% CI: 0.993–0.999, p < 0.05) influenced end-diastolic ventricular pressure ≥ 10.5 mmHg.
A reduced superior caval vein flow, evaluated at cardiac magnetic resonance, is associated with higher end-diastolic ventricular pressure a predictor of early adverse outcome in post-Fontan patients.
The single- and double-patch repairs are undoubtedly the most commonly used techniques for the surgical management of partial anomalous pulmonary venous connection associated with sinus venosus atrial septal defect. The aim of this study was to retrospectively compare early and long-term surgical outcomes in paediatric and adult patients, focusing in particular on the occurrence of ectopic atrial rhythm.
Material and methods:
Seventy patients (male: 38, 54.2%) underwent surgical repair for partial anomalous pulmonary venous connection with sinus venosus atrial septal defect. Forty-nine patients (70%) underwent surgical repair in paediatric age (<16 years old), while 21 of (30%) patients were operated in adulthood. Thirty patients (42.8%) underwent single-patch repair and 39 patients (55.7%) underwent double-patch repair. In only one patient, the Warden procedure was performed (1.4%). Median follow-up time was 52 months (IQ 15.1–113).
The type of surgical technique didn’t affect the incidence of ectopic atrial rhythm (26.6% in single-patch group and 25.6% in double-patch groups, p = 0.9). At long-term follow-up, ectopic atrial rhythm, as an expression of sinoatrial node disturbance, was however significantly more frequent in the paediatric population (28.8% paediatric group and 4.7% adult group, p = 0.02).
The higher incidence of ectopic atrial rhythm in children is probably related to the closer position of the sinus node to the superior cavoatrial incision, which makes irreversible iatrogenic traumatism more likely to occur. Surgical techniques that avoid any manipulation on the superior cavoatrial junction should, therefore, be preferred for children undergoing partial anomalous pulmonary venous connection repair.
The recent developments in imaging techniques have created new opportunities to give an accurate description of the three-dimensional morphology of vessels. Such three-dimensional reconstruction of anatomical structures from medical images has achieved importance in several applications, such as the reconstruction of human bones, spine portions, and vascular districts.
Magnetic resonance imaging is a powerful diagnostic tool, able to give us accurate anatomical and functional insights concerning the structure of the heart, and capable of overcoming some of the drawbacks and limitations of echocardiography and catheterization. The aim of our current review is to highlight the advantages and applications of the technique in the evaluation of patients with functionally univentricular hearts before and after conversion to the Fontan circulation. Most of these patients will have undergone surgery several times in their life, with a certain body size, and with less than optimal echocardiographic windows because of the surgical scars. Moreover, vascular access is sometimes unavailable due to previous catheterizations. Furthermore, resonance imaging is non-invasive, and can be performed without sedation in patients older than 8 years. Since many of the current techniques, some of them still experimental, will be used extensively in future clinical practice, physicians should be aware of the full spectrum of capabilities of resonance imaging. We will highlight all these applications in the sections which follow.
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