Center variation in patient age and weight at fontan operation and impact on postoperative outcomes

Michelle C. Wallace, James Jaggers, Jennifer S. Li, Marshall L. Jacobs, Jeffrey P. Jacobs, Daniel K. Benjamin, Sean M. O'Brien, Eric D. Peterson, P. Brian Smith, Sara K. Pasquali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Background: The impact of age and weight on outcomes after the Fontan operation is unclear. Previous analyses have suggested that lower weight-for-age z-score is an important predictor of poor outcome in patients undergoing bidirectional Glenn. We evaluated variation in age, weight, and weight-for-age z-score at Fontan across institutions, and the impact of these variables on postoperative morbidity and mortality. Methods: Patients in The Society of Thoracic Surgeons Congenital Heart Surgery Database undergoing the Fontan operation (2000 to 2009) were included. Center variation in age, weight, and weight-for-age z-score were described. Multivariable analysis was performed to evaluate the impact of age, weight, and weight-for-age z-score on in-hospital mortality, Fontan failure (combined in-hospital mortality and Fontan takedown/revision), postoperative length of stay, and complications, adjusting for other patient and center factors. Results: A total of 2,747 patients (68 centers) were included: 61% male; 45% right dominant lesions (38% left dominant, 17% undifferentiated). An extracardiac conduit Fontan (versus lateral tunnel) was performed in 63%; 65% were fenestrated. Median age, median weight at Fontan operation, and proportion with weight-for-age z-score less than -2 varied across centers and ranged from 1.7 to 4.8 years, 10.5 to 16.1 kg, and 0% to 30%, respectively. In multivariable analysis, age and weight were not significantly associated with outcome. Weight-for-age z-score less than -2 was associated with increased in-hospital mortality (odds ratio 2.73, 95% confidence interval: 1.09 to 6.86), Fontan failure (odds ratio 2.59, 95% confidence interval: 1.24 to 5.40), and longer length of stay (+1.2 days, 95% confidence interval: 0.1 to 2.4). Conclusions: Weight-for-age z-score less than -2 is associated with significant morbidity and mortality after the Fontan operation independent of other patient and center characteristics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1445-1452
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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