Pulmonary Artery Flow Patterns After the Fontan Procedure Are Predictive of Postoperative Complications

Galina Leyvi, Henry L. Bennett, John D. Wasnick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Objective: Pulmonary artery (PA) flow reversal has been associated with poor outcome in patients with atriopulmonary (APC) and total cavopulmonary connection (TCPC) lateral tunnel (LT) Fontan modification. The authors studied PA flow after TCPC in relation to the incidence of early Fontan outcome and complications. Design: A prospective observational study. Setting: A university hospital. Participants: Pediatric patients undergoing a Fontan procedure. Intervention: Nineteen patients were studied. PA flow was measured by pulse-wave Doppler during the surgery after chest closure. Patients were divided into 2 groups according to patterns of PA flow: group 1, positive (biphasic or continuous flow), and group 2, negative (with flow reversal component). The postoperative complications were recorded. Measurements and Main Results: There were no deaths or reoperations for Fontan takedown. Ten patients had positive and 9 had negative flow. There were no differences between groups regarding age, weight, length of procedure, and cardiopulmonary bypass. The chest tube drainage in patients with negative flow was significantly longer than those in the positive-flow group (8.3 ± 7.0 days in the negative-flow group v 2.8 ± 1.7 days in the positive-flow group, p = 0.03). The total number of complications was higher in the negative-flow group compared with the positive-flow group (3.0 ± 1.3 v 1.2 ± 0.6, p = 0.003). The differences between groups in terms of pediatric intensive care unit and/or hospital length of stay did not reach statistical significance, possibly because of the low number of patients. Conclusion: PA flow pattern appears to be predictive of the length of postoperative chest tube drainage and the number of postoperative complications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)54-61
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Anesthesia
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2009


  • Doppler evaluation of pulmonary artery flow
  • Fontan procedure
  • complications after Fontan procedure
  • pulmonary artery flow patterns

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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