Does Maintenance of Pulmonary Blood Flow Pulsatility at the Time of the Fontan Operation Improve Hemodynamic Outcome in Functionally Univentricular Hearts?

K Kalia, P Walker-Smith, M V Ordoñez, F G Barlatay, Q Chen, M Caputo, S Stoica, A Parry, R M R Tulloh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

Abstract

It is unclear whether residual anterograde pulmonary blood flow (APBF) at the time of Fontan is beneficial. Pulsatile pulmonary flow may be important in maintaining a compliant and healthy vascular circuit. We, therefore, wished to ascertain whether there was hemodynamic evidence that residual pulsatile flow at time of Fontan promotes clinical benefit. 106 consecutive children with Fontan completion (1999-2018) were included. Pulmonary artery pulsatility index (PI, (systolic pressure-diastolic pressure)/mean pressure)) was calculated from preoperative cardiac catheterization. Spectral analysis charted PI as a continuum against clinical outcome. The population was subsequently divided into three pulsatility subgroups to facilitate further comparison. Median PI prior to Fontan was 0.236 (range 0-1). 39 had APBF, in whom PI was significantly greater (median: 0.364 vs. 0.177, Mann-Whitney p < 0.0001). There were four early hospital deaths (3.77%), and PI in these patients ranged from 0.214 to 0.423. There was no correlation between PI and standard cardiac surgical outcomes or systemic oxygen saturation at discharge. Median follow-up time was 4.33 years (range 0.0273-19.6), with no late deaths. Increased pulsatility was associated with higher oxygen saturations in the long term, but there was no difference in reported exercise tolerance (Ross), ventricular function, or atrioventricular valve regurgitation at follow-up. PI in those with Fontan-associated complications or the requiring pulmonary vasodilators aligned with the overall population median. Maintenance of pulmonary flow pulsatility did not alter short-term outcomes or long-term prognosis following Fontan although it tended to increase postoperative oxygen saturations, which may be beneficial in later life.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPediatric Cardiology
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 Apr 2021

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