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The Adult Fontan Patient: Update for 2011


Peter R. Ermis ,

Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, US
About Peter R.
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David L.S. Morales

Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, US
About David L.S.
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Congenital heart disease is the most common birth defect, with an estimated incidence of moderate to severe disease of 4-6 per 1,000 live births.1 Due to the dramatic advances in cardiac surgery and general pediatric cardiology care, approximately 85% of neonates with congenital heart disease (CHD) survive to adulthood.2 The most recent information, published in 2004, estimated 787,800 to 1.3 million adults with CHD living in the United States.3, 4 This is expected to increase by 5% per year. It is estimated that within the next decade, 1 in every 150 young adults will have some form of CHD.2, 3, 5

Due to the changing therapeutic options, a higher percentage of the adult CHD population will consist of more complicated cardiac disease during the coming years.2 It is estimated that 1-2% of children with CHD have single-ventricle physiology.6, 7 Thus, as survival in this complex portion of the CHD population improves, the number of adult patients with previous Fontan palliation will dramatically increase.

The goal of this article is to provide a brief background of the Fontan procedure and then discuss the late-term outcomes and complications in this unique patient type. The majority of the article will focus on information needed to adequately care for the adult Fontan patient.

How to Cite: 1. Ermis PR, Morales DLS. The Adult Fontan Patient: Update for 2011. Methodist DeBakey Cardiovascular Journal. 2011;7(2):3-8. DOI:
Published on 01 Apr 2011.
Peer Reviewed


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