Cavopulmonary assist in the neonate: An alternative strategy for single-ventricle palliation

Mark D. Rodefeld, Jack H. Boyd, Cynthia D. Myers, Robert G. Presson, Wiltz W. Wagner, John W. Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Scopus citations


Background: Cavopulmonary blood flow, rather than a systemic arterial source of pulmonary blood flow, stabilizes Norwood physiology. We hypothesized that pump-assisted cavopulmonary diversion would yield stable pulmonary and systemic hemodynamics in the neonate. This was tested in a newborn animal model of total cavopulmonary diversion and univentricular Fontan circulation. Methods: Lambs (n = 13; mean weight, 5.6 ± 1.5 kg; mean age, 6.8 ± 4.0 days) were anesthetized and mechanically ventilated. Baseline hemodynamic parameters were measured. Total cavopulmonary diversion was performed with bicaval venous-to-main pulmonary artery cannulation. A miniature centrifugal pump was used to assist cavopulmonary flow. Support was titrated to normal physiologic parameters. Hemodynamic data, arterial blood gases, and lactate values were measured for 8 hours. Baseline, 1-hour, and 8-hour time points were compared by using analysis of variance. Results: All animals remained stable without the use of volume loading, inotropic support, or pulmonary vasodilator therapy. Cardiac index, systemic arterial pressure, left atrial pressure, and lactate values were similar to baseline values 8 hours after surgery. Mean pulmonary arterial pressure and pulmonary vascular resistance were modestly increased 8 hours after surgery. Mean arterial pH, PO2, and PCO 2 values remained stable throughout the study. Conclusions: Cavopulmonary assist is feasible in a neonatal animal model of total cavopulmonary diversion and univentricular Fontan circulation with acceptable pulmonary arterial pressures and without altering regional volume distribution or cardiac output. Pump-assisted cavopulmonary diversion, in combination with Norwood aortic arch reconstruction, could solve several major problems associated with a systemic shunt-dependent univentricular circulation, including hypoxemia, impaired diastolic coronary perfusion, and ventricular volume overload.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)705-711
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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