European journal of cardio-thoracic surgery : official journal of the European Association for Cardio-thoracic Surgery, Volume 62, Issue 1, 1 1 2022, Pages ezab478 Extracardiac conduit adequacy along the respiratory cycle in adolescent Fontan patients. Rijnberg FM, van der Woude SFS, Hazekamp MG, van den Boogaard PJ, Lamb HJ, Terol Espinosa de Los Monteros C, Kroft LJM, Kenjeres S, Karim T, Jongbloed MRM, Westenberg JJM, Wentzel JJ, Roest AAW


Adequacy of 16-20mm extracardiac conduits for adolescent Fontan patients remains unknown. This study aims to evaluate conduit adequacy using the inferior vena cava (IVC)-conduit velocity mismatch factor along the respiratory cycle.


Real-time 2D flow MRI was prospectively acquired in 50 extracardiac (16-20mm conduits) Fontan patients (mean age 16.9 ± 4.5 years) at the subhepatic IVC, conduit and superior vena cava. Hepatic venous flow was determined by subtracting IVC flow from conduit flow. The cross-sectional area (CSA) was reported for each vessel. Mean flow and velocity was calculated during the average respiratory cycle, inspiration and expiration. The IVC-conduit velocity mismatch factor was determined as follows: Vconduit/VIVC, where V is the mean velocity.


Median conduit CSA and IVC CSA were 221 mm2 (Q1-Q3 201-255) and 244 mm2 (Q1-Q3 203-265), respectively. From the IVC towards the conduit, flow rates increased significantly due to the entry of hepatic venous flow (IVC 1.9, Q1-Q3 1.5-2.2) versus conduit (3.3, Q1-Q3 2.5-4.0 l/min, P < 0.001). Consequently, mean velocity significantly increased (IVC 12 (Q1-Q3 11-14 cm/s) versus conduit 25 (Q1-Q3 17-31 cm/s), P < 0.001), resulting in a median IVC-conduit velocity mismatch of 1.8 (Q1-Q3 1.5-2.4), further augmenting during inspiration (median 2.3, Q1-Q3 1.8-3.0). IVC-conduit mismatch was inversely related to measured conduit size and positively correlated with conduit flow. The normalized IVC-conduit velocity mismatch factor during expiration and the entire respiratory cycle correlated with peak VO2 (r = -0.37, P = 0.014 and r = -0.31, P = 0.04, respectively).


Important blood flow accelerations are observed from the IVC towards the conduit in adolescent Fontan patients, which is related to peak VO2. This study, therefore, raises concerns that implanted 16-20mm conduits have become undersized for older Fontan patients and future studies should clarify its effect on long-term outcome.

Eur J Cardiothorac Surg. 2022 6;62(1):ezab478