Single ventricle physiology: Surgical options, indications and outcomes

Robert D B Jaquiss, Michiaki Imamura

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Purpose of review Among the most frequently encountered congenital heart malformations are those with so-called single ventricle physiology, in which there is only one ventricle to pump blood to the pulmonary and systemic vascular beds, respectively. Long-term survival is possible, based on the principle of right heart bypass, whereby the ventricle pumps blood only to the systemic circuit, whereas pulmonary blood flow occurs passively. Such a circulatory system is achieved in a series of staged reconstructive operations, each of which was formerly accompanied by very high rates of major morbidity and mortality. Current approaches to single ventricle physiology as well as areas of controversy will be reviewed. Recent findings The development of a number of inventive operations, combined with a greater understanding of the physiologic requirements for success after single ventricle reconstruction has resulted in dramatic improvements in outcomes. The identification and modification of risk factors as well as the recent development of catheter-based intervention offer the real prospect of significant continued improvement. Summary Advances in the care of children with single ventricle hearts have resulted in remarkably improved prognosis, with the expectation of continued improvement in not only survival but also quality of life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-118
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Cardiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2009


  • Fontan operation
  • Norwood operation
  • Single ventricle
  • Univentricular heart

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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