Favourable mid-term outcome after heart transplantation for late Fontan failure.

Michielon, Guido; van Melle, Joost P; Wolff, Djoeke; Di Carlo, Duccio; Jacobs, Jeffrey P; Mattila, Ilkka P; Berggren, Hakan; Lindberg, Harald; Padalino, Massimo A; Meyns, Bart; Pretre, Rene; Helvind, Morten; Carrel, Thierry; Ebels, Tjark (2015). Favourable mid-term outcome after heart transplantation for late Fontan failure. European journal of cardio-thoracic surgery, 47(4), pp. 665-671. Oxford University Press 10.1093/ejcts/ezu280

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Fontan failure (FF) represents a growing and challenging indication for paediatric orthotopic heart transplantation (OHT). The aim of this study was to identify predictors of the best mid-term outcome in OHT after FF.


Twenty-year multi-institutional retrospective analysis on OHT for FF.


Between 1991 and 2011, 61 patients, mean age 15.0 ± 9.7 years, underwent OHT for failing atriopulmonary connection (17 patients = 27.8%) or total cavopulmonary connection (44 patients = 72.2%). Modality of FF included arrhythmia (14.8%), complex obstructions in the Fontan circuit (16.4%), protein-losing enteropathy (PLE) (22.9%), impaired ventricular function (31.1%) or a combination of the above (14.8%). The mean time interval between Fontan completion and OHT was 10.7 ± 6.6 years. Early FF occurred in 18%, requiring OHT 0.8 ± 0.5 years after Fontan. The hospital mortality rate was 18.3%, mainly secondary to infection (36.4%) and graft failure (27.3%). The mean follow-up was 66.8 ± 54.2 months. The overall Kaplan-Meier survival estimate was 81.9 ± 1.8% at 1 year, 73 ± 2.7% at 5 years and 56.8 ± 4.3% at 10 years. The Kaplan-Meier 5-year survival estimate was 82.3 ± 5.9% in late FF and 32.7 ± 15.0% in early FF (P = 0.0007). Late FF with poor ventricular function exhibited a 91.5 ± 5.8% 5-year OHT survival. PLE was cured in 77.7% of hospital survivors, but the 5-year Kaplan-Meier survival estimate in PLE was 46.3 ± 14.4 vs 84.3 ± 5.5% in non-PLE (P = 0.0147). Cox proportional hazards identified early FF (P = 0.0005), complex Fontan pathway obstruction (P = 0.0043) and PLE (P = 0.0033) as independent predictors of 5-year mortality.


OHT is an excellent surgical option for late FF with impaired ventricular function. Protein dispersion improves with OHT, but PLE negatively affects the mid-term OHT outcome, mainly for early infective complications.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Cardiovascular Disorders (DHGE) > Clinic of Heart Surgery

UniBE Contributor:

Carrel, Thierry


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




Oxford University Press




Sara Baumberger

Date Deposited:

10 Mar 2015 08:27

Last Modified:

27 Feb 2024 14:29

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Congenital heart disease, Failing Fontan, Fontan operation, Heart failure, Heart transplantation





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