Coagulation abnormalities in patients with single-ventricle physiology precede the Fontan procedure

J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 2002 Mar;123(3):459-65. doi: 10.1067/mtc.2002.120010.


Objective: Thromboembolic events in patients who have undergone the Fontan operation have been reported to be as high as 20% to 33%. A hypercoagulable state with deficiencies in proteins C and S has been implicated. Using age-matched control subjects, we evaluated whether an altered coagulation state is present earlier in the course of staged single-ventricle repair.

Methods: After informed consent had been obtained, coagulation factors were assayed in 36 infants (mean age, 7.7 +/- 3.6 months) with single-ventricle cardiac defects immediately before undergoing the bidirectional Glenn procedure; 34 infants (mean age, 8.4 +/- 2.6 months) without cardiac disease were assayed as control subjects. Concentration of factors II, V, VII, VIII, IX, and X; antithrombin III; plasminogen; proteins C and S; fibrinogen; serum albumin; and liver enzymes were measured. Normal reference intervals on the basis of the control subjects were determined by using 95% confidence limits. Patient demographic and hemodynamic variables were evaluated as possible predictors of coagulation abnormalities.

Results: Concentrations of protein C; factors II, V, VII, IX, and X; plasminogen; fibrinogen; and antithrombin III were significantly lower in the pre-Glenn infants compared with the age-matched control subjects (all P <.001, Student t test). On the basis of multiple logistic regression, no specific hemodynamic variables were predictive of a procoagulant or anticoagulant deficiency. Ventricular dysfunction did predict the presence of multiple coagulation abnormalities (P <.001).

Conclusion: Procoagulant and anticoagulant factor abnormalities occur early in the course of single-ventricle repair and precede the cavopulmonary connection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Blood Coagulation Factors / analysis
  • Female
  • Fontan Procedure*
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / complications
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / surgery
  • Heart Ventricles / abnormalities*
  • Hemodynamics
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Reference Values
  • Thrombophilia / blood*
  • Thrombophilia / complications*


  • Blood Coagulation Factors