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The utility of cardiac magnetic resonance imaging in postFontan surveillance

Neil C. Zaki1,2, Michael S. Kelleman1, W. James Parks1,3, Timothy C. Slesnick1,3, Michael E. McConnell1,3, Matthew E. Oster1,3

1 Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia
2 Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, Tennessee
3 Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Atlanta, Georgia

* Corresponding Author: Matthew E. Oster, MD, MPH, 2835 Brandywine, Ste 300, Atlanta, GA 30341. Email: email

Congenital Heart Disease 2019, 14(2), 140-146.


Objective: Gated cardiac MRI offers the most detailed and accurate noninvasive method of assessing cardiac anatomy, particularly in patients with complex congenital heart disease. The proposed benefits of using cMRI as a routine screening tool in the Fontan population include early recognition of asymptomatic, postoperative anatomic and physiologic changes. In 2011, we therefore instituted at our center a recommended practice of cMRI screening in patients with Fontan physiology at 3 and 8 years postFontan operation. The purpose of this study was to determine the impact of this standardized practice of cMRI screening on the clinical management of a Fontan population.
Design: We retrospectively reviewed charts from our institutional Fontan database to determine which patients were eligible for cMRI under the current guidelines and who underwent imaging from November 2002 to June 2015. We reviewed the frequency of cMRI and number of changes in management based on the results. Statistical significance was determined using a chi-square test.
Results: There were 141 cMRIs performed on 121 patients who met inclusion criteria. The odds of a change in management were significantly greater after clinically indicated cMRI compared to screening cMRI (OR = 3.79, 95% CI: 1.48-9.66, P = .004). There were near significant odds of change in management if the cMRI occurred <8 years after Fontan regardless of whether it was for screening or clinically indicated purposes (OR = 2.43, 95% CI: 0.97-6.08, P = .052). The most frequent change in management was referral for catheterization with pulmonary artery angioplasty.
Conclusions: There is an important role for cMRI in routine surveillance of post-Fontan patients. Screening cMRI performed less than 8 years after Fontan palliation offers increased utility compared to studies performed later. The optimal timing of such imaging after Fontan palliation remains unclear.


Cite This Article

APA Style
Zaki, N.C., Kelleman, M.S., Parks, W.J., Slesnick, T.C., McConnell, M.E. et al. (2019). The utility of cardiac magnetic resonance imaging in postfontan surveillance. Congenital Heart Disease, 14(2), 140-146.
Vancouver Style
Zaki NC, Kelleman MS, Parks WJ, Slesnick TC, McConnell ME, Oster ME. The utility of cardiac magnetic resonance imaging in postfontan surveillance. Congeni Heart Dis. 2019;14(2):140-146
IEEE Style
N.C. Zaki, M.S. Kelleman, W.J. Parks, T.C. Slesnick, M.E. McConnell, and M.E. Oster "The utility of cardiac magnetic resonance imaging in postFontan surveillance," Congeni. Heart Dis., vol. 14, no. 2, pp. 140-146. 2019.

cc This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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