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Direct Measurement of Porto-systemic Gradient in a Failing Fontan Circulation


Dr Gruschen R. Veldtman, Southampton University Hospital, Southampton, UK. Tel: 02380-79-6055; Fax: 02380-79-4523; E-mail:


We describe the case history of a 42-year-old man with cardiac cirrhosis, portal hypertension, and life-threatening variceal bleeding after Fontan revision surgery. Direct pressure measurements in the portal vein, though high, demonstrated only a modest portosystemic gradient (PSG), 9 mm Hg. A transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt procedure was performed. This reduced the PSG (3 mm Hg). His bleeding was controlled. The patient's histopathological findings were identical to that previously documented in Fontan patients, raising the question of whether these subdiaphragmatic hemodynamics are representative of the broader failing Fontan population.