Maternal and fetal outcomes of pregnancy with Fontan circulation: A multicentric observational study

Int J Cardiol. 2015;187:84-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ijcard.2015.03.344. Epub 2015 Mar 23.


Background: Despite serious long-term sequel, women with Fontan palliation have reached childbearing age. However there is paucity of data on the pregnancy outcomes and management of this condition. We aimed to determine the maternal and fetal outcomes of pregnancy in women with Fontan palliation.

Methods: This multicentric, retrospective study included women with Fontan circulation followed in 13 French specialized centers from January 2000 to June 2014. All pregnancies were reviewed, including miscarriages, abortions, premature and term births. We reviewed maternal and fetal outcomes.

Results: Thirty-seven patients had 59 pregnancies. Mean age was 27 ± 5 years at first pregnancy. There were 16 miscarriages (27%) and 36 live births with 1 twin pregnancy. Cardiac events occurred in 6 (10%) pregnancies, with no maternal death. The most common cardiac complication was atrial arrhythmia, which occurred in 3 patients. Hematological complications including thromboembolic/hemorrhagic events (n=3/7) occurred in 5 women antepartum (n=2/3), and 4 women postpartum (n=1/4). Two of the 3 thromboembolic events occurred in patients without anticoagulation. There was a high incidence of prematurity (n=25/36, 69%). Anticoagulation was associated with adverse neonatal outcome (OR=10.0, 95% CI [1.5-91.4], p<0.01). After a median follow-up of 24 months, there was no significant worsening of clinical status and thromboembolic disease noted.

Conclusions: Pre-selected women can successfully complete pregnancy with Fontan circulation. There is an increase in cardiac and neonatal morbidity during pregnancy. Because thromboembolism could have a severe consequence on Fontan circulation, anticoagulation should be indicated during pregnancy and postpartum period.

Keywords: Anticoagulation; Congenital heart disease; Fontan circulation; Pregnancy.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • France / epidemiology
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / epidemiology*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature*
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Cardiovascular / epidemiology*
  • Pregnancy Outcome / epidemiology*
  • Retrospective Studies