Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Eur J Cardiothorac Surg. 2013 Sep;44(3):454-61; discussion 461. doi: 10.1093/ejcts/ezt062. Epub 2013 Feb 19.

Risk factors for adverse neurocognitive outcomes in school-aged patients after the Fontan operation.

Author information

Department of Cardiovascular Surgery, Mt. Fuji Shizuoka Children's Hospital, Shizuoka, Japan.



As the surgical results for Fontan candidates improve, much attention has been given to the long-term cognitive outcomes. This study aimed to assess the neurocognitive outcomes after Fontan completion, and to determine the factors associated with an extremely low intelligence quotient (IQ <70).


A total of 70 local eligible school-aged patients were enrolled in the study (hypoplastic left heart syndrome, 17; right atrial isomerism, 15 and others, 38). Fontan operations were performed at a median age of 1.8 (range, 0.5-8.9) years (primary Fontan, 4 of 70 [6%]). The Wechsler Intelligence Test was taken at a median age of 9 (range, 5.1-14.4) years for the purpose of neurocognitive evaluation. Patients' data were collected from medical records, and a retrospective analysis of potential predictors for an IQ <70 was performed.


The median full-scale IQ (FSIQ) for the entire cohort was 85 (range, 43-118). Of the lower order composites, the perceptual reasoning index and the working memory index were significantly lower in low-FSIQ patients (P < 0.05). Overall, 15 of 70 (21%) of the cohort had an IQ <70. Univariate analysis identified three significant risk factors for FSIQ <70 (15 of 70, 21%): body weight <2.5 kg at initial palliative surgery (P < 0.05), low 5-min Apgar score <4 (P < 0.05) and inter-stage events requiring cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) (P < 0.05). No other patient-specific factors (e.g. cardiac morphology) or modifiable surgical factors (e.g. the use of hypothermic cardiac arrest) were associated with FSIQ <70.


Low body weight (<2.5 kg) at initial operation, low 5-min Apgar score (<4) and inter-stage CPR were significant risk factors for impaired neurocognitive outcomes. An evolving strategy for preventing inter-stage CPR may improve cognitive outcomes.


Adverse effects; Fontan procedure; Hypoplastic left heart syndrome; Intelligence tests; Neurobehavioural manifestations; Right atrial isomerism

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Silverchair Information Systems
    Loading ...
    Support Center