Enteric protein loss after the Fontan operation

Mayo Clin Proc. 1994 Feb;69(2):112-4. doi: 10.1016/s0025-6196(12)61035-0.


Objective: The current study was undertaken to assess the frequency of excessive enteric protein loss and protein-losing enteropathy in the relatively early period after the Fontan operation.

Design: Protein excretion was determined in 26 of 27 consecutive patients who underwent the Fontan procedure between January and June 1990 at the Mayo Clinic.

Material and methods: At two testing intervals during the first 4 months after the Fontan operation, alpha 1-antitrypsin clearance and fecal alpha 1-antitrypsin concentration studies were done.

Results: All results were normal for the first postoperative test period (2 to 8 weeks). For the second study period, all 17 patients tested had normal alpha 1-antitrypsin clearances. One of the 17 patients had an appreciably increased fecal alpha 1-antitrypsin concentration and transient protein-losing enteropathy.

Conclusion: Excessive enteric protein loss and protein-losing enteropathy are relatively uncommon during the first 4 months after the Fontan operation.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Feces / chemistry
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Intestine, Small / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Postoperative Complications / metabolism*
  • Protein-Losing Enteropathies / etiology*
  • Proteins / metabolism*
  • Time Factors
  • alpha 1-Antitrypsin / metabolism


  • Proteins
  • alpha 1-Antitrypsin