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Fontan conversion to total cavopulmonary connection and arrhythmia ablation: clinical and functional results
  1. G Agnoletti1,
  2. A Borghi1,
  3. G Vignati3,
  4. G C Crupi2
  1. 1Divisione di Cardiologia, Ospedali Riuniti, Bergamo, Italy
  2. 2Divisione di Cardiochirurgia, Ospedali Riuniti, Bergamo, Italy
  3. 3Divisione di Cardiologia Pediatrica, Ospedale Niguarda, Milan, Italy
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr Gabriella Agnoletti, Service de Cardiologie Pédiatrique, Necker Enfants Malades, 149, rue de Sevres, 75743 Paris Cedex, France;


Objectives: To assess the early results of conversion from atriopulmonary to total cavopulmonary connection in patients with failing Fontan operation.

Design: Early clinical and instrumental evaluation of patients undergoing conversion from atriopulmonary to total cavopulmonary connection from April 1999 to November 2000.

Setting: Tertiary referral centre for congenital heart disease.

Patients: 11 Fontan patients (mean (SD) age 20.9 (6.7) years) with refractory arrhythmias or ventricular dysfunction.

Interventions: Total cavopulmonary connection, intraoperative ablation, and AAIR pacemaker implantation.

Main outcome measures: Holter monitoring, transoesophageal atrial stimulation, ergometric test, and myocardial scintigraphy at a mean (SD) follow up of 16.8 (5.6) months.

Results: One early postoperative death occurred. During follow up three patients had relapse of atrial tachycardia, controlled by medical treatment, and two were pacemaker dependent. Transoesophageal stimulation did not induce atrial tachycardia in any patient. Ergometric test showed a diminished exercise tolerance in all but one patient. Mean minute ventilation and maximum oxygen consumption were 62% and 40% of their respective predicted values. Myocardial scintigraphy showed reversal of rest or exercise dysfunction in five patients and improved systemic ventricular function in seven. Mean basal ejection fraction increased from 39.4% (95% confidence interval (CI) 32% to 46%) to 46.5% (95% CI 41.7% to 51.2%) and ejection fraction on effort from 42.3% (95% CI 33.9% to 50.7%) to 50.2% (95% CI 44.5% to 55.9%).

Conclusions: Our data show that total cavopulmonary connection associated with intraoperative ablation and pacemaker implantation allows for better control of arrhythmias and improves ventricular function in the majority of patients with failing Fontan.

  • atriopulmonary connection
  • transoesophageal atrial stimulation
  • ergometric test
  • myocardial scintigraphy

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