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01.01.2012 | Original Article | Ausgabe 1/2012 Open Access

Pediatric Cardiology 1/2012

Clinical Significance of Thrombosis in an Intracardiac Blind Pouch After a Fontan Operation

Pediatric Cardiology > Ausgabe 1/2012
Sang Yun Lee, Jae Suk Baek, Gi Beom Kim, Bo Sang Kwon, Eun Jung Bae, Chung Il Noh, Jung Yun Choi, Hong Kuk Lim, Woong Han Kim, Jeong Ryul Lee, Yong Jin Kim


The univentricular heart after the Fontan operation may have a blind pouch formed by the pulmonary stump or rudimentary ventricle according to the anatomy before surgery. Thrombosis in an intracardiac blind pouch of patients with a univentricular heart is a hazardous complication. Because only a few reports have described this complication, the authors evaluated the clinical significance of thrombosis in an intracardiac blind pouch of a univentricular heart. They performed a retrospective review of medical records from August 1986 to December 2007. Four patients were confirmed as having thrombosis in a pulmonary artery stump and one patient as having thrombosis in a rudimentary ventricle shown by cardiac computed tomography (CT). This represents 1.85% (5/271) of patients with ongoing regular follow-up evaluation after the Fontan operation. The median age at diagnosis was 14.2 years. Two of the five patients were taking aspirin and one patient was taking warfarin when they were identified for the development of thrombosis. None of the patients demonstrated thrombosis in the Fontan tract or venous side of the circulation. Brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) showed that three patients had cerebral infarction and one patient had suggestive old ischemia. Three patients with thrombus in the pulmonary stump underwent pulmonary artery stump thrombectomy and pulmonary valve obliteration. One patient with thrombus in the rudimentary ventricle underwent ventricular septal defect (VSD) closure with thrombectomy. Thrombus in a blind pouch could cause systemic thromboembolism despite little blood communication. Therefore, surgical modification of the pulmonary stump and VSD closure of the rudimentary ventricle are required to reduce the risk of later thrombus formation. Clinicians should not overlook the possibility of thrombus in a ligated pulmonary artery stump or a rudimentary ventricle after the Fontan operation, which may increase the risk of embolic stroke for patients with single-ventricle physiology.

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