Routine Surveillance Catheterization is Useful in Guiding Management of Stable Fontan Patients

Routine Surveillance Catheterization is Useful in Guiding Management of Stable Fontan Patients

Patel ND, Sullivan PM, Sabati A, Hill A, Maedler-Kron C, Zhou S, Shillingford N, Williams R, Takao C, Badran S.

Pediatr Cardiol. 2020 Jan 24. doi: 10.1007/s00246-020-02293-3. [Epub ahead of print]

PMID: 31980851


Take Home Points:

  • Routine cardiac catheterization is a common part of Fontan surveillance algorithms.
  • Despite appearing to be clinically stable, a large proportion of Fontan patients in this cohort required transcatheter interventions; required initiation of pulmonary vasodilator therapy; and were identified to have hepatic fibrosis.

Commentary from Dr. Konstantin Averin (Edmonton), catheterization section editor of Pediatric Cardiology Journal Watch: As survival of patients with single ventricle physiology palliated with a Fontan circulation improves it is becoming increasingly recognized that they are prone to developing significant end organ pathology. Various monitoring strategies have been proposed but all usually involve a surveillance catheterization 5-10 years after the Fontan surgery. The value of this assessment has not been fully explored. The authors sought to explore the utility of surveillance cardiac catheterization in stable Fontan patients at a single center.
Sixty-three Fontan patients (mean age 14.6 ± 3.0 and mean time from Fontan surgery 11.3 ± 3.1 years) underwent cardiac catheterization over a 5-year period. The pre-catheterization echocardiograms (within a year) were unremarkable – 80% had normal ventricular function and less than mild AVV insufficiency. Baseline hemodynamics were mostly reassuring with 4 patients having a Fontan pressure > 15 mmHg and 19 having a PVRi > 2.0 iWu. Vasoreactivity testing with iNO was performed in 53 and half had a reduction in the PVRi of at least 20%.
Fifty-seven patients underwent a trans-jugular liver biopsy at the time of procedure with more than half (32/57) demonstrating higher grades of congestive hepatic fibrosis. Forty percent of patients had an intervention at the time of the procedure: pulmonary artery stent (16), existing stent dilation (5), SVC angioplasty (4), Fontan stent (3), and others (7). There were no major complications.
Despite the limitations of this work, the authors demonstrate that routine invasive assessment of Fontan patients can provide valuable information and allow for optimization of the Fontan circulation. Given the high morbidity experienced by this patient population it is important for providers to be pro-active in longitudinal Fontan assessment management as a stable Fontan is not necessarily a good Fontan.