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Heart transplantation in Fontan patients across Australia and New Zealand
  1. William Y Shi1,
  2. Matthew S Yong2,
  3. David C McGiffin2,
  4. Pankaj Jain3,
  5. Peter N Ruygrok4,
  6. Silvana F Marasco2,
  7. Kirsten Finucane4,
  8. Anne Keogh3,
  9. Yves d'Udekem1,
  10. Robert G Weintraub1,
  11. Igor E Konstantinov1
  1. 1Departments of Cardiac Surgery and Cardiology, Royal Children's Hospital, Murdoch Children's Research Institute, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia
  2. 2Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, The Alfred Hospital, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
  3. 3Department of Cardiology, St Vincent's Hospital, Sydney, Australia
  4. 4Greenlane Cardiothoracic Unit, Auckland City Hospital, Auckland, New Zealand
  1. Correspondence to Professor Igor E Konstantinov, Cardiac Surgery Unit, Royal Children's Hospital, Parkville, VIC 3052, Australia; igor.konstantinov{at}


Objective Patients with Fontan physiology may eventually require heart transplantation (HT). We determined the rates and outcomes of HT in a national, population-based multicentre study.

Methods From 1990 to 2015, 1369 patients underwent the Fontan procedure as recorded in the Australia and New Zealand Fontan Registry. We identified those who underwent HT and analysed their outcomes. We compared rates of HT between two catchment areas. In area 1 (n=721), patients were referred to the national paediatric HT programme or its associated adult programme. In area 2 (n=648), patients were referred to the national paediatric HT programme or one of the other adult HT programmes.

Results Mean follow-up time post-Fontan was 11±8 years. Freedom from Fontan failure was 74%±3.9% at 20 years. HT was performed in 34 patients. Patients living in area 1 were more likely to have HT (4.0%, 29/721 vs 0.8%, 5/648, p<0.001) with a cumulative proportion of 3.4% vs 0.7% at 10 years and 6.8% vs 1.2% at 20 years (p=0.002). Area 1 patients were more likely to undergo HT (hazard ratio 4.7, 95% CI 1.7 to 13.5, p=0.003) on multivariable regression. Post-HT survival at 1, 5 and 10 years was 91%, 78% and 71%, respectively. Compared with other patients with congenital heart disease (n=87), Fontan patients had similar in-hospital outcomes and long-term survival.

Conclusions Although HT after the Fontan procedure can be achieved with excellent outcomes, most patients with Fontan failure do not undergo HT. Significant regional differences in rates of HT in Fontan patients exist.

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