Impact of Fontan operation on left ventricular size and contractility in tricuspid atresia.
Left ventricular dimensions and contractility were determined by echocardiography in 33 patients with tricuspid atresia in 1985 and again in 1988. Eight patients remained palliated throughout the 3-year period; neither the left ventricular end-diastolic diameter (153 +/- 15% of normal vs. 157 +/- 19%, p = NS) nor a load-independent index of contractility (rate-corrected velocity of shortening [VCFc]/end-systolic meridional stress [ESSM]) changed. Eleven patients underwent a Fontan operation during the study and were reevaluated at least 6 months after surgery; left ventricular dimension decreased (130 +/- 15% vs. 114 +/- 19%, p less than 0.001), and the contractility index VCFc/ESSM improved (p less than 0.05). Fourteen patients had undergone a Fontan operation 0.9-9.5 years (mean, 4.2 years) before initial examination in 1985. Over the 3-year period, left ventricular dimensions did not change (121 +/- 17% vs. 118 +/- 11%, p = NS), but the contractility index showed significant improvement (p less than 0.01). Eight additional patients were studied just before and after a Fontan operation to examine the early effects of surgery. Left ventricular dimensions decreased from 130 +/- 14% to 100 +/- 13% by 10 days p less than 0.001) with no further change at 2 months. An inappropriate degree of ventricular hypertrophy was observed in only the early postoperative period. Successful Fontan repair results in rapid reduction of left ventricular size, followed by regression of hypertrophy to a normal mass-to-volume ratio. Operating at more favorable dimensions and loading conditions results in an early increase in left ventricular contractility, which further improves in the medium term follow-up.
- Copyright © 1990 by American Heart Association