Acute Kidney Injury and Renal Replacement Therapy After Fontan Operation

Talha Niaz, Elizabeth H. Stephens, Stephen J. Gleich, Joseph A. Dearani, Jonathan N. Johnson, David J. Sas, Stephen Bly, David J. Driscoll, Frank Cetta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Fontan circulation leads to chronic elevation of central venous pressure. We sought to identify the incidence, risk factors, and survival among patients who developed acute kidney injury (AKI) after the Fontan operation. We retrospectively reviewed 1,166 patients who had Fontan operation/revision at Mayo Clinic Rochester from 1973 to 2017 and identified patients who had AKI (defined by AKI Network criteria) within 7 days of surgery. A total of 132 patients (11%) developed AKI after the Fontan operation with no significant era effect. Of those who developed AKI, severe (grade 3) kidney injury was present in 101 patients (76.5%). Multivariable risk factors for AKI were asplenia (odds ratio [OR] 4.2, p <0.0001), elevated preoperative pulmonary artery pressure (per 1 mm Hg increase, OR 1.04, p = 0.0002), intraoperative arrhythmias (OR 1.9, p = 0.02), and elevated post-bypass Fontan pressure (per 1 mm Hg increase, OR 1.12, p = 0.0007). Renal replacement therapy (RRT) was used in 72 patients (54%), predominantly through peritoneal dialysis (n = 56, 78%). Multivariable risk factors for RRT were age ≤3 years (OR 9.7, p = 0.0004), female gender (OR 2.6, p = 0.02), and aortic cross-clamp time >60 minutes (OR 3.1, p = 0.01). Patients with AKI had more postoperative complications, including bleeding, stroke, pericardial tamponade, low cardiac output state and cardiac arrest, than those without AKI. This resulted in longer intensive care unit stay (39 vs 17 days, p = 0.0001). In-hospital mortality was exceedingly higher among patients with AKI versus no AKI (58%, 76 of 132 vs 10%, 99 of 1,034, p <0.0001); however, there was no significant difference based on the need for RRT. Recovery from AKI was observed in 56 patients (42%). Over 20-year follow-up, patients with AKI had a distinctly higher all-cause-mortality (82%) than those without AKI (35%). It is prudent to identity patients at a higher risk of developing postoperative AKI after Fontan operation to ensure renal protective strategies in the perioperative period. Postoperative AKI leads to substantial short and long-term morbidity and mortality, but the need for RRT does not affect the outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)84-94
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Cardiology
StatePublished - Dec 15 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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