Fontan conversion to cavopulmonary connection and arrhythmia circuit cryoablation

C. Mavroudis*, C. L. Backer, B. J. Deal, C. L. Johnsrude

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

143 Scopus citations


Objectives: We review our surgical experience patients with atriopulmonary Fontan operations who had obstructive or arrhythmia indications for conversion to total cavopulmonary artery connections, arrhythmia circuit cryoablation, and placement of atrial antitachycardia pacemaker. Methods: Fourteen patients (mean age 14 ± 4 years) had conversion to total cavopulmonary artery connection 8 ± 3 years after the original atriopulmonary Fontan operation primarily for atrial arrhythmias in 11, obstructive lesions in 2, and bradycardia with cyanosis in 1. Arrhythmia circuit cryoablation was performed on 11 patients and 10 had atrial antitachycardia pacemakers. Preoperative functional New York Heart Association class was IV in 9, III in 4, and II in 1. Results: One patient had brain death (7%) presumably caused by resternotomy complications despite an excellent hemodynamic result. Another required reoperation for a maldeployed clamshell device after attempted fenestration closure. Average length of stay was 10 ± 3 days; chest tubes were removed on day 7 ± 3. There were no long-term deaths (mean follow-up 1.7 years, range 5 months to 5 years). Postoperative arrhythmias occurred in five patients, three of whom had successful termination by antitachycardia pacemaker and two who had pharmacologic control of their respective junctional ectopic and slow atrial tachycardia. All patients have improved to New York Heart Association class I or II. Conclusions: Total cavopulmonary artery conversion in association with arrhythmia circuit cryoablation and atrial antitachycardia pacemaker placement can be accomplished with low morbidity and mortality, oftentimes resulting in dramatic increases in functional class and control of life- threatening arrhythmias.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)547-556
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Surgery


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