Conversion of the failed Fontan circulation

Carl L. Backer*, Barbara J. Deal, Constantine Mavroudis, Wayne H. Franklin, Robert D. Stewart

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Many patients with a functional univentricular heart were treated in the 1970s and 1980s, using an atriopulmonary connection to create the Fontan circulation. Although this procedure, in many patients, was initially successful, and provided arterial saturations of oxygen close to normal, as these patients were followed over the years, in some cases they developed significant complications. One complication of the atriopulmonary connection is progressive right atrial dilation, which leads to atrial arrhythmias, such as atrial flutter or fibrillation. The combination of these two problems leads to low cardiac output, diminished quality of life, and poor categorization within the classification of the New York Heart Association. This, and other issues, has led most centres to abandon the atriopulmonary connection as a means of creating the Fontan circulation in favour of the lateral tunnel with cavopulmonary connections, or the extracardiac conduit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-91
Number of pages7
JournalCardiology in the young
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
StatePublished - Feb 2006


  • Arrhythmias
  • Atrioventricular valvar atresia
  • Cardiac failure
  • Double inlet ventricle
  • Functionally univentricular heart

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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