A pulsatile hemodynamic evaluation of the commercially available bifurcated Y-graft Fontan modification and comparison with the lateral tunnel and extracardiac conduits

Phillip M Trusty, Maria Restrepo, Kirk R Kanter, Ajit P Yoganathan, Mark A Fogel, Timothy C Slesnick
Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery 2016, 151 (6): 1529-36

OBJECTIVE: Fontan completion, resulting in a total cavopulmonary connection, is accomplished using a lateral tunnel, extracardiac conduit, or bifurcated Y-graft. The use of Y-grafts is hypothesized to provide symmetric hepatic blood flow distribution to the lungs, a factor related to pulmonary arteriovenous malformations. The present study evaluates the hemodynamic performance of the largest commercially available Y-graft cohort to date, highlights 6 representative cases, and compares commercially available Y-graft performance with lateral tunnel/extracardiac conduit connections.

METHODS: A total of 30 patients with commercially available Y-grafts and 30 patients with lateral tunnel/extracardiac conduits were analyzed. Total cavopulmonary connection anatomies and flow waveforms were reconstructed using cardiac magnetic resonance images and phase-contrast cardiac magnetic resonance. Computational fluid dynamic simulations were performed to quantify total cavopulmonary connection power loss, resistance, and hepatic flow distribution. Comparisons between graft types were investigated.

RESULTS: Total cavopulmonary connection resistance was significantly higher for Y-grafts. Hepatic flow distribution was similar overall but showed discrepancies at extreme values with more unbalanced flow in the Y-graft cohort. Power loss was more sensitive to left pulmonary artery stenosis in the Y-graft cohort. Prediction of Y-graft hepatic flow distribution is multifactorial.

CONCLUSIONS: Commercially available Y-grafts do not inherently provide more balanced hepatic flow distribution than lateral tunnel/extracardiac conduit connections, which are more energetically favorable and less sensitive to pulmonary artery stenosis. Graft type should be considered on an individual basis because hemodynamic performance is based on a combination of factors, including pulmonary flow distribution, pulmonary artery stenosis, and superior vena cava positioning.

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