Assessment of central venous physiology of Fontan circulation using peripheral venous pressure

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Abstract

Objective:

Elevated central venous pressure is a major cause of morbidity and mortality after the Fontan operation. The difference between mean circulatory filling pressure and central venous pressure, a driving force of venous return, is important in determining dynamic changes in central venous pressure in response to changes in ventricular properties or loading conditions. Thus, noninvasive central venous pressure and mean circulatory filling pressure estimation may contribute to optimal management in patients undergoing the Fontan operation. We tested the hypothesis that central venous pressure and mean circulatory filling pressure in those undergoing the Fontan operation can be simply estimated using peripheral venous pressure and arm equilibrium pressure, respectively.

Methods:

This study included 30 patients after the Fontan operation who underwent cardiac catheterization (median 8.6, 3.4–42 years). Peripheral venous pressure was measured at the peripheral vein in the upper extremities. Mean circulatory filling pressure was calculated by the changes of arterial pressure and central venous pressure during the Valsalva maneuver. Arm equilibrium pressure was measured as equilibrated venous pressure by rapidly inflating a blood pressure cuff to 200 mm Hg.

Results:

Central venous pressure and peripheral venous pressure were highly correlated (central venous pressure = 1.6 + 0.68 × peripheral venous pressure, R = 0.86, P < .0001). Stepwise multivariable regression analysis showed that only peripheral venous pressure was a significant determinant of central venous pressure. Central venous pressure was accurately estimated using regression after volume loading by contrast injection (R = 0.82, P < .0001). In addition, arm equilibrium pressure measurements were highly reproducible and robustly reflected invasively measured mean circulatory filling pressure (mean circulatory filling pressure = 9.1 + 0.63 × arm equilibrium pressure, R = 0.88, P < .0001).

Conclusions:

Central venous pressure and mean circulatory filling pressure can be noninvasively estimated by peripheral venous pressure and arm equilibrium pressure, respectively. This should help clarify unidentified Fontan pathophysiology and the mechanisms of Fontan failure progression, thereby helping construct effective tailor-made approaches to prevent Fontan failure.

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