Sinus node dysfunction after Fontan modifications--influence of surgical method

Int J Cardiol. 2003 Apr;88(2-3):285-91. doi: 10.1016/s0167-5273(02)00530-2.


Background: Sinus node dysfunction (SND) is reported to be a troublesome complication following various types of Fontan operations. The correlation of post-Fontan SND with surgical methods was evaluated in this study.

Methods: By reviewing the medical records, surface ECGs, and Holter monitoring, the range of heart rate (HR) and the risk of SND at intermediate term after Fontan type operation (follow up: 41.3+/-13.1 months) were analyzed between two age matched groups of patients, consisting of the extracardiac conduit group (EC, n=33) and the lateral tunneling group (LT, n=35).

Results: Junctional rhythm was observed in nine out of 35 patients in LT and five out of 33 patients in EC during the follow-up period. Resting HR was faster in EC than that in LT (108+/-15 vs. 82+/-21, P<0.001). Average and maximal HR in Holter monitoring were also faster in EC than those in LT. SND was found in 13 cases (10 in LT, three in EC) during follow-up and one required pacemaker implantation. In the case of situs solitus heart, SND was less frequent in EC than in LT (0/16 vs. 8/26, P=0.01). In the case of heterotaxy syndrome, SND occurred in similar number of cases (3/17 vs. 2/9). The staged approach to Fontan completion did not influence SND. LT repair was the only factor causing sinus node dysfunction according to multivariate logistic regression (P=0.03, OR 5.96).

Conclusions: Lateral tunnel type surgical repair was more likely to lead to the development of sinus node dysfunction than extracardiac conduit operation. In the case of heterotaxy syndrome, surgical method had no significant influence.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Cardiac Surgical Procedures / adverse effects*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Electrocardiography, Ambulatory
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Fontan Procedure / adverse effects*
  • Heart Atria / pathology
  • Heart Atria / physiopathology
  • Heart Rate / physiology
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Postoperative Complications*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sinoatrial Block / etiology*
  • Sinoatrial Block / pathology
  • Sinoatrial Block / physiopathology*