In-Hospital Outcomes in Fontan Completion Surgery According to Age

Am J Cardiol. 2022 Mar 1:166:81-87. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2021.11.019. Epub 2021 Dec 18.


Actual timing of the Fontan operation is variable. Our aim was to evaluate the impact of age at the time of Fontan operation on mortality and clinical outcome and characterize patients with worse outcomes. We conducted a retrospective, cross-sectional study on the Fontan operation using nationally representative databases from 2003 to 2016 and categorized the patient into 1 of 5 groups according to their age at the time of surgery: <2, 2, 3, 4, and ≥5 years. Survey-weighted logistic regression models were used to compare the outcomes of the different age groups. A total of 6,647 children underwent the Fontan completion procedure during the study period with median age 3 (interquartile range 2 to 4) years. The in-hospital mortality was 2.1%. In logistic regression models, in-hospital mortality, respiratory failure, acute kidney injury, chylothorax, arrhythmias, and sudden cardiac arrest were similar among the 5 age groups. Compared with children >2 years, those <2 years were less likely to be admitted for surgery on an elective basis (73.5% vs 90.4%, p <0.001), more likely to have chromosomal anomalies (2.7% vs 1.7%), and more likely to have repair of atrioventricular valves (8.5% vs 6.0%, p = 0.027). Mortality was higher in those with an underlying atrioventricular septal defect (AVSD) adjusted odds ratio 4.3 (2.4 to 7.9, p <0.001). Repair of AV valves was more common in the AVSD group compared with those in non-AVSD (14.3% vs 5.5%, p <0.001). In conclusion, age at Fontan completion does not adversely affect the in-hospital outcomes. Our focus should be on optimizing essential factors that are crucial for successful Fontan completion.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Fontan Procedure* / adverse effects
  • Heart Defects, Congenital*
  • Heart Septal Defects
  • Hospitals
  • Humans
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Treatment Outcome

Supplementary concepts

  • Atrioventricular Septal Defect