Dominant Ventricular Morphology and Early Postoperative Course After the Fontan Procedure

Uri Pollak*, Inbar Abarbanel, Yishay Salem, Alain E. Serraf, David Mishaly

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Single ventricle heart disease comprises a wide variety of critical heart defects that lead to the provision of systemic cardiac output by one dominant ventricle. It requires staged surgical palliation that culminates in Fontan circulation. Dominant ventricular morphology in single ventricle patients reportedly has an impact on postoperative morbidity and mortality with varying results. The objectives of this study were to examine the association between ventricular morphology and the early postoperative course after the Fontan procedure. Methods: A retrospective cohort study in a tertiary referral pediatric medical center that included 98 consecutive patients who underwent Fontan procedure between October 2009 and May 2016. Postoperative outcomes were compared between patients with left ventricular morphology and those with right ventricular morphology (crude effect and regression analysis). Results: Patients with right ventricular morphology had longer postoperative hospitalizations compared to patients with left ventricular morphology (26.5 days vs 18.2 days, respectively, P =.028), higher postoperative maximal vasoactive-inotropic scores (25.6 vs 12.4, P =.02), higher serum lactate levels (7.7 mmol/L vs 6.4 mmol/L, P =.03), higher proportions of ventilation throughout 24 h or more (16 patients [38%] vs 8 patients [14%], P =.009), higher proportions of ventricular dysfunction (12 patients [29%] vs 5 patients [9%], P =.0001), and lower blood oxygen saturation levels at discharge (87% vs 92%, P =.03). Conclusions: The Fontan procedure in patients with right ventricular morphology is associated with longer postoperative hospitalization and worse early postoperative characteristics (ventricular dysfunction and atrioventricular valve regurgitation) as well as higher rates of early, transient signs of sub-optimal postoperative hemodynamics compared to those with left ventricular morphology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)346-352
Number of pages7
JournalWorld journal for pediatric & congenital heart surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2022


  • Fontan procedure
  • congenital heart disease
  • pediatric cardiac surgery
  • perioperative outcomes
  • single ventricle
  • ventricular morphology


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