The Fontan Udenafil Exercise Longitudinal Trial: Subgroup Analysis

Pediatr Cardiol. 2023 Dec;44(8):1691-1701. doi: 10.1007/s00246-023-03204-y. Epub 2023 Jun 29.


The Pediatric Heart Network's Fontan Udenafil Exercise Longitudinal (FUEL) Trial (Mezzion Pharma Co. Ltd., NCT02741115) demonstrated improvements in some measures of exercise capacity and in the myocardial performance index following 6 months of treatment with udenafil (87.5 mg twice daily). In this post hoc analysis, we evaluate whether subgroups within the population experienced a differential effect on exercise performance in response to treatment. The effect of udenafil on exercise was evaluated within subgroups defined by baseline characteristics, including peak oxygen consumption (VO2), serum brain-type natriuretic peptide level, weight, race, gender, and ventricular morphology. Differences among subgroups were evaluated using ANCOVA modeling with fixed factors for treatment arm and subgroup and the interaction between treatment arm and subgroup. Within-subgroup analyses demonstrated trends toward quantitative improvements in peak VO2, work rate at the ventilatory anaerobic threshold (VAT), VO2 at VAT, and ventilatory efficiency (VE/VCO2) for those randomized to udenafil compared to placebo in nearly all subgroups. There was no identified differential response to udenafil based on baseline peak VO2, baseline BNP level, weight, race and ethnicity, gender, or ventricular morphology, although participants in the lowest tertile of baseline peak VO2 trended toward larger improvements. The absence of a differential response across subgroups in response to treatment with udenafil suggests that the treatment benefit may not be restricted to specific sub-populations. Further work is warranted to confirm the potential benefit of udenafil and to evaluate the long-term tolerability and safety of treatment and to determine the impact of udenafil on the development of other morbidities related to the Fontan circulation.Trial Registration NCT0274115.

Keywords: Exercise; Fontan; Udenafil.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Exercise
  • Exercise Test
  • Exercise Tolerance
  • Humans
  • Oxygen Consumption*
  • Pyrimidines / therapeutic use
  • Sulfonamides* / therapeutic use


  • udenafil
  • Sulfonamides
  • Pyrimidines

Associated data