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PMCID: PMC5302850 DOI: 10.1016/j.echo.2016.07.016


BACKGROUND: Patients with functional single ventricles after the Fontan procedure have abnormal cardiac mechanics. The aims of this study were to determine factors that influence diastolic function and to describe associations of diastolic function with current clinical status.

METHODS: Echocardiograms were obtained as part of the Pediatric Heart Network Fontan Cross-Sectional Study. Diastolic function grade (DFG) was assessed as normal (grade 0), impaired relaxation (grade 1), pseudonymization (grade 2), or restrictive (grade 3). Studies were also classified dichotomously (restrictive pattern present or absent). Relationships between DFG and pre-Fontan variables (e.g., ventricular morphology, age at Fontan, history of volume-unloading surgery) and current status (e.g., systolic function, valvar regurgitation, exercise performance) were explored.

RESULTS: DFG was calculable in 326 of 546 subjects (60%) (mean age, 11.7 ± 3.3 years). Overall, 32% of patients had grade 0, 9% grade 1, 37% grade 2, and 22% grade 3 diastolic function. Although there was no association between ventricular morphology and DFG, there was an association between ventricular morphology and E', which was lowest in those with right ventricular morphology (P < .001); this association remained significant when using Z scores adjusted for age (P < .001). DFG was associated with achieving maximal effort on exercise testing (P = .004); the majority (64%) of those not achieving maximal effort had DFG 2 or 3. No additional significant associations of DFG with laboratory or clinical measures were identified.

CONCLUSIONS: Assessment of diastolic function by current algorithms results in a high percentage of patients with abnormal DFG, but few clinically or statistically significant associations were found. This may imply a lack of impact of abnormal diastolic function on clinical outcomes in this cohort, or it may indicate that the methodology may not be applicable to pediatric patients with functional single ventricles.

Journal Title

Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography : official publication of the American Society of Echocardiography





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MeSH Keywords

Adolescent; Causality; Child; Echocardiography; Female; Fontan Procedure; Heart Defects, Congenital; Humans; Incidence; Male; North America; Postoperative Complications; Risk Factors; Stroke Volume; Treatment Outcome; Ventricular Dysfunction, Left


Congenital heart disease; Diastolic function; Fontan; Single ventricle