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Original research article
Retrospective UK multicentre study of the pregnancy outcomes of women with a Fontan repair


Background The population of women of childbearing age palliated with a Fontan repair is increasing. The aim of this study was to describe the progress of pregnancy and its outcome in a cohort of patients with a Fontan circulation in the UK.

Methods A retrospective study of women with a Fontan circulation delivering between January 2005 and November 2016 in 10 specialist adult congenital heart disease centres in the UK.

Results 50 women had 124 pregnancies, resulting in 68 (54.8%) miscarriages, 2 terminations of pregnancy, 1 intrauterine death (at 30 weeks), 53 (42.7%) live births and 4 neonatal deaths. Cardiac complications in pregnancies with a live birth included heart failure (n=7, 13.5%), arrhythmia (n=6, 11.3%) and pulmonary embolism (n=1, 1.9%). Very low baseline maternal oxygen saturations at first obstetric review were associated with miscarriage. All eight women with saturations of less than 85% miscarried, compared with 60 of 116 (51.7%) who had baseline saturations of ≥85% (p=0.008). Obstetric and neonatal complications were common: preterm delivery (n=39, 72.2%), small for gestational age (<10th percentile, n=30, 55.6%; <5th centile, n=19, 35.2%) and postpartum haemorrhage (n=23, 42.6%). There were no maternal deaths in the study period.

Conclusion Women with a Fontan circulation have a high rate of miscarriage and, even if pregnancy progresses to a viable gestational age, a high rate of obstetric and neonatal complications.

  • Fontan procedure
  • pregnancy
  • perinatal mortality

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