Hemodynamic Impact of Atrial Pacing in Patients with Fontan Physiology and Junctional Rhythm: A Cardiac Catheterization Study

Mohammad Alnoor, Grant Burch, Laurie Armsby, Anjan Batra, Seshadri Balaji

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Sinus node dysfunction is a common problem and adversely impacts patients who have undergone the Fontan operation. In Fontan patients with an adequate junctional escape rhythm, the benefit of atrial pacing to restore atrioventricular synchrony remains unclear. Data were collected retrospectively on all Fontan patients with junctional rhythm who underwent atrial pacing during cardiac catheterization. Hemodynamics were obtained at baseline and after atrial pacing for 5–10 min. Seven patients, mean age 10 years (3–21) were studied. The type of Fontan was extracardiac in 6 and lateral tunnel in one. Patients were paced at 10 bpm faster than their junctional rate. With pacing, there was a significant decrease in left atrial pressure from (mean ± SEM) 8.8 ± 2.6 to 5.5 ± 2.9 mmHg (p = 0.02), a significant increase in cardiac index from 2.7 ± 0.8 to 3.5 ± 1 L/min/m2 (p = 0.01) and pulmonary blood flow from 2.1 ± 0.6 to 2.7 ± 0.7 L/min/m2 (p = 0.001), and no significant change in pulmonary artery pressure, from 13.4 ± 2.8 to 12.4 mmHg ± 3.6 (p = 0.06) or pulmonary vascular resistance from 2.1 ± 0.86 to 3.25 ± 1.9 WU × M2 (p = 0.1). In Fontan patients with junctional rhythm, atrial pacing decreased the left atrial pressure, increased cardiac output and did not significantly change the pulmonary artery pressure. Our study supports further investigation into the utility of prophylactic atrial pacemaker implantation in Fontan patients with significant durations of JR on ambulatory monitoring.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)508-514
Number of pages7
JournalPediatric Cardiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2022


  • Fontan operation
  • Junctional rhythm
  • Pacing
  • Sinus node dysfunction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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