Congenital: Fontan| Volume 163, ISSUE 3, P1195-1207, March 2022

Diastolic inflow is associated with inefficient ventricular flow dynamics in Fontan patients



      This study used cardiac magnetic resonance imaging to evaluate flow characteristics and ventricular hemodynamics for children with single right (hypoplastic left heart syndrome) and single left (hypoplastic right heart syndrome) systemic ventricle anatomy after Fontan palliation compared with normal biventricular controls.


      Twenty children with single ventricle anatomy (hypoplastic left heart syndrome, n = 10; hypoplastic right heart syndrome, n = 10) underwent standardized 4-dimensional flow cardiac magnetic resonance and were compared with age-matched controls (n = 10). End-diastolic volume was partitioned into 4 defined components of variable kinetic energy (direct flow, retained inflow, delayed ejection, and residual volume) and compared between groups. Further, volumetric and functional parameters as defined by cardiac magnetic resonance were evaluated.


      Children with hypoplastic left heart syndrome had significantly increased indexed end-diastolic and end-systolic volumes compared with both hypoplastic right heart syndrome and control groups. Flow component analysis demonstrated diastolic inefficiency in both hypoplastic left heart syndrome and hypoplastic right heart syndrome groups compared with controls as defined by decreased direct flow and increased residual volumes. Decreased direct flow correlated with decreased ejection fraction and increased end-diastolic and end-systolic volume indices. Increased residual volume correlated with decreased ejection fraction and increased end-systolic volume index.


      Fontan-palliated patients with single ventricle physiology (hypoplastic left heart syndrome and hypoplastic right heart syndrome) demonstrate altered and inefficient flow patterns in the systemic ventricle as defined by 4-dimensional flow cardiac magnetic resonance compared with normal biventricular controls. Decreased direct flow and increased residual volume indicate that diastolic ventricular dysfunction is prevalent after Fontan palliation. This study provides a foundation for future predictive modeling and cardiac magnetic resonance flow diagnostic studies in this high-risk patient population.

      Graphical abstract

      Key Words

      Abbreviations and Acronyms:

      CMR (cardiac magnetic resonance), 4D (4-dimensional), HLHS (hypoplastic left heart syndrome), HRHS (hypoplastic right heart syndrome), MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)
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