Long-Term Outcomes After Extracardiac Fontan Takedown to an Intermediate Palliative Circulation

Matteo Trezzi, Enrico Cetrano, Salvatore Giannico, Fiore S. Iorio, Sonia B. Albanese, Adriano Carotti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Acute failure of the Fontan circulation is rare but remains associated with high morbidity and mortality rates. Little is known about the long-term outcome of patients who underwent Fontan takedown to an intermediate palliative circulation and their potential candidacy for redo Fontan completion. Methods: Patients followed up at a single institution who underwent takedown of a Fontan circulation to an intermediate palliative circulation within 2 months of extracardiac Fontan completion were reviewed. Results: Between October 1990 and December 2015, 18 patients underwent Fontan takedown to a superior cavopulmonary connection (with or without an additional shunt) at a median age of 3.3 years (range, 1.8 to 8.0) and median weight of 13.8 kg (range, 8.0 to 27.0 kg). Takedown was required during the Fontan procedure itself in 2 patients, and within the first 2 postoperative months in 16 patients (median time to takedown, 3 days). Seventeen patients survived the post–takedown period and 3 ultimately underwent successful redo Fontan. Four patients required heart transplantation, with 2 deaths. In patients with extended intermediate palliation, median arterial oxygen saturation was 84% (range, 76% to 92%) at a median follow-up of 6.3 years (range, 0.7 to 25.9). Conclusions: Takedown to a superior cavopulmonary connection is an effective treatment option and, in some patients, acts as a bridge to subsequent redo Fontan completion or heart transplantation. An extended intermediate palliative circulation is tolerated for several years with reasonable oxygen saturation levels at rest. In our experience, an early takedown strategy to a superior cavopulmonary connection is the treatment of choice for acute Fontan failure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)599-605
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Sep 18 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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