Late outcomes after the Fontan procedure in patients with single ventricle: a meta-analysis

Heart. 2018 Sep;104(18):1508-1514. doi: 10.1136/heartjnl-2017-312807. Epub 2018 Mar 13.


Objective: More patients with Fontan physiology are reaching adulthood. The purpose of this meta-analysis was to evaluate the late outcomes of patients palliated with Fontan procedure and to assess the risk factors for mortality.

Methods: PubMed, Embase and Web of Science were queried to retrieve observational studies of survival in patients following the Fontan procedure with ≥5 years of follow-up. A random-effects model was used to determine pooled survival estimates at 5, 10 and 15 years. Meta-regression was used to assess potential moderators for death.

Results: Nineteen articles with a total of 5859 patients were included. The weighted mean follow-up time was 8.94±2.64 years with overall 8.3% deaths and 1.5% transplants. Pooled survival estimates at 5, 10 and 15 years were 90.7%, 87.2% and 87.5%, respectively; and 88.4%, 85.7% and 84.1%, respectively, for studies that included all three time intervals (n=4). Earliest surgical year included in the study, proportion of atriopulmonary connections versus extracardiac conduit or lateral tunnel, and older age at Fontan were associated with higher rates of death, but ventricular morphology was not. Protein-losing enteropathy, reoperation and pacemaker insertion were reported in 2.1%, 5.6% and 6.8% patients, respectively.

Conclusions: Survival following the Fontan procedure has improved with time and is influenced by Fontan type and age at the time of Fontan. At a mean follow-up of 8.9 years, there was no significant association between survival and ventricular morphology, not taking into account the mortality prior to Fontan.

Keywords: fontan; meta-analysis; single ventricle; survival.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Fontan Procedure / methods*
  • Global Health
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / mortality
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / surgery*
  • Heart Ventricles / abnormalities*
  • Heart Ventricles / surgery
  • Humans
  • Survival Rate / trends
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome