Pearls and Pitfalls in Pediatric Fontan Operation Imaging

Semin Ultrasound CT MR. 2020 Oct;41(5):442-450. doi: 10.1053/j.sult.2020.05.009. Epub 2020 May 28.


The Fontan operation or the total cavopulmonary connection is a palliative surgery for single ventricle congenital heart disease where the systemic venous return circumvents a pumping chamber and flows directly into the pulmonary circuit. With surgical and medical advances, there has been improvement in life expectancy of these patients, however, it has also resulted in unique complications from the physiology that requires diligent surveillance. A critical component relies on optimal imaging for diagnosis and treatment of these complications. This article describes the normal anatomy of the Fontan circulation, current imaging modalities and techniques, and frequently encountered complications seen when imaging the patients who have undergone Fontan palliation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Diagnostic Imaging / methods
  • Female
  • Fontan Procedure / methods*
  • Heart / diagnostic imaging
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / diagnostic imaging
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Palliative Care / methods
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult