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1057 Pulmonary artery size and function after Fontan operation at young age: assessment with phase contrast magnetic resonance imaging


little is known about the effects of long-term non-pulsatile flow on pulmonary artery (PA) growth after Fontan operation. Furthermore, the effects on flow variables and shear stress have not been studied in a patient group operated on at young age.


In this study, we assessed PA size, flow variables, and shear stress long-term after Fontan operation at young age and compared them with healthy controls, using cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging.


14 patients (9 males, aged 13.1 ± 4.0 years, follow-up after Fontan completion 9.7 (5.4–16.8) years) and 17 healthy controls (9 males, aged 13.3 ± 2.3 years) were included. Flow measurements in the branch PA were made during a CMR study, using phase contrast velocity-encoded imaging. In patients, flow measurements were repeated during low-dose dobutamine stress of 7.5 μg/kg/min. Shear stress was determined according to a previously published method [1].


CMR scanning and dobutamine administration was well tolerated by all subjects without side effects. Results of the flow studies and shear stress determination are summarized in Table 1 (NS = not significant).

Table 1 Table 1


PA diameter is normal in patients long-term after Fontan operation at young age. However, flow variables, distensibility and shear stress are significantly lower compared to healthy controls, implicating pulmonary endothelial and/or vascular dysfunction.


  1. 1.

    J Am Coll Cardiol. 2005, 45: 846-854. 10.1016/j.jacc.2004.12.026.

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Correspondence to Danielle Robbers-Visser.

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Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Robbers-Visser, D., Helderman, F., Strengers, J.L. et al. 1057 Pulmonary artery size and function after Fontan operation at young age: assessment with phase contrast magnetic resonance imaging. J Cardiovasc Magn Reson 10, A182 (2008).

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  • Pulmonary Artery
  • Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance
  • Dobutamine
  • Contrast Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Fontan Operation