Medical College of Wisconsin
CTSICores SearchResearch InformaticsREDCap

Thromboembolic Risk After Atriopulmonary, Lateral Tunnel, and Extracardiac Conduit Fontan Surgery. J Am Coll Cardiol 2019 Aug 27;74(8):1071-1081



Pubmed ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-85070517891 (requires institutional sign-in at Scopus site)   35 Citations


BACKGROUND: Thromboembolic events contribute greatly to morbidity and mortality following Fontan surgery for univentricular hearts.

OBJECTIVES: This study sought to evaluate the effect of type of Fontan surgery on thromboembolic risk.

METHODS: A North American multicenter retrospective cohort study enrolled 522 patients with Fontan palliation consisting of an atriopulmonary connection (APC) (21.4%), lateral tunnel (LT) (41.8%), or extracardiac conduit (EC) (36.8%). Thromboembolic complications and new-onset atrial arrhythmia were reviewed and classified by a blinded adjudicating committee. Thromboembolic risk across surgical techniques was assessed by multivariable competing-risk survival regression.

RESULTS: Over a median follow-up of 11.6 years, 10- and 20-year freedom from Fontan conversion, transplantation, or death was 94.7% and 78.9%, respectively. New-onset atrial arrhythmias occurred in 4.4, 1.2, and 1.0 cases per 100 person-years with APC, LT, and EC, respectively. APC was associated with a 2.82-fold higher risk of developing atrial arrhythmias (p < 0.001), with no difference between LT and EC (p = 0.95). A total of 71 thromboembolic events, 32 systemic and 39 venous, occurred in 12.8% of subjects, for an overall incidence of 1.1%/year. In multivariable analyses, EC was independently associated with a lower risk of systemic (hazard ratio [HR]: 0.20 vs. LT; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.04 to 0.97) and combined (HR: 0.34 vs. LT; 95% CI: 0.13 to 0.91) thromboembolic events. A lower incidence of combined thromboembolic events was also observed with antiplatelet agents (HR: 0.54; 95% CI: 0.32 to 0.92) but not anticoagulation (p = 0.53).

CONCLUSIONS: The EC Fontan was independently associated with a lower thromboembolic risk after controlling for time-varying effects of atrial arrhythmias and thromboprophylaxis.

Author List

Deshaies C, Hamilton RM, Shohoudi A, Trottier H, Poirier N, Aboulhosn J, Broberg CS, Cohen S, Cook S, Dore A, Fernandes SM, Fournier A, Kay J, Mondésert B, Mongeon FP, Opotowsky AR, Proietti A, Ting J, Zaidi A, Khairy P, Alliance for Adult Research in Congenital Cardiology (AARCC)


Scott B. Cohen MD Associate Professor in the Medicine department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Arrhythmias, Cardiac
Child, Preschool
Cohort Studies
Follow-Up Studies
Fontan Procedure
Heart Defects, Congenital
Postoperative Complications
Retrospective Studies
Risk Factors
Treatment Outcome
Venous Thromboembolism
Young Adult