Korean J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg.  1998 May;31(5):472-480.

Mid-term results of IntracardiacLateral Tunnel Fontan Procedure in the Treatment of Patients with a Functional Single Ventricle

  • 1Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Seoul National University Hospital, Korea.
  • 2Seoul National University College of Medicine, Korea.
  • 3Seoul National University Heart Research Institute, Korea.


We reviewed the surgical results of intracardiac lateral tunnel Fontan procedure for the repair of functional single ventricles. Between 1990 and 1996, 104 patients underwent total cavopulmonary anastomosis. Patients' age and body weight averaged 35.9 (range 10 to 173) months and 12.8 (range 6.5 to 37.8) kg. Preoperative diagnoses included 18 tricuspid atresias and 53 double inlet ventricles with univentricular atrioventricular connection and 33 other complex lesions. Previous palliative operations were performed in 50 of these patients, including 37 systemic to pulmonary artery shunts, 13 pulmonary artery bandings, 15 surgical atrial septectomies, 2 arterial switch procedures, 2 resections of subaortic conus, 2 repairs of total anomalous pulmonary venous connection and 1 Damus-Stansel-Kaye procedure. In 19 patients bidirectional cavopulmonary shunt operation was performed before the Fontan procedure and in 1 patient a Kawashima procedure was required. Preoperative hemodynamics revealed a mean pulmonary artery pressure of 14.6 (range 5 to 28) mmHg, a mean pulmonary vascular resistance of 2.2 (range 0.4 to 6.9) wood-unit, a mean pulmonary to systemic flow ratio of 0.9 (range 0.3 to 3.0), a mean ventricular end-diastolic pressure of 9.0 (range 3.0 to 21.0) mmHg, and a mean arterial oxygen saturation of 76.0 (range 45.6 to 88.0)%. The operative procedure consisted of a longitudinal right atriotomy 2cm lateral to the terminal crest up to the right atrial auricle, followed by the creation of a lateral tunnel connecting the orifices of either the superior caval vein or the right atrial auricle to the inferior caval vein, using a Gore-Tex vascular graft with or without a fenestration. Concomitant procedures at the time of Fontan procedure included 22 pulmonary artery angioplasties, 21 atrial septectomies, 4 atrioventricular valve replacements or repairs, 4 corrections of anomalous pulmonary venous connection, and 3 permanent pacemaker implantations. In 31, a fenestration was created, and in 1 an adjustable communication was made in the lateral tunnel pathway. One lateral tunnel conversion was performed in a patient with recurrent intractable tachyarrhythmia 4 years after the initial atriopulmonary connection. Post-extubation hemodynamic data revealed a mean pulmonary artery pressure of 12.7 (range 8 to 21) mmHg, a mean ventricular end-diastolic pressure of 7.6 (range 4 to 12) mmHg, and a mean room-air arterial oxygen saturation of 89.9 (range 68 to 100) %. The follow-up duration was, on average, 27 (range 1 to 85) months. Post-Fontan complications included 11 prolonged pleural effusions, 8 arrhythmias, 9 chylothoraces, 5 of damage to the central nervous system, 5 infectious complications, and 4 of acute renal failure. Seven early (6.7%) and 5 late (4.8%) deaths occured. These results proved that the lateral tunnel Fontan procedure provided excellent hemodynamic improvements with acceptable mortality and morbidity for hearts with various types of functional single ventricle.


Fontan operation; Surgery method

MeSH Terms

Acute Kidney Injury
Arrhythmias, Cardiac
Body Weight
Central Nervous System
Conus Snail
Follow-Up Studies
Fontan Procedure*
Heart Bypass, Right
Pleural Effusion
Pulmonary Artery
Surgical Procedures, Operative
Tricuspid Atresia
Vascular Resistance
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