Single ventricle heart defects affect 2 per 1000 live births in the US and are lethal if left untreated. The Fontan procedure used to treat these defects consists of a series of palliative surgeries to create the total cavopulmonary connection (TCPC), which bypasses the right heart. In the last stage of this procedure, the inferior vena cava (IVC) is connected to the pulmonary arteries (PA) using one of the two approaches: the extra-cardiac (EC), where a synthetic graft is used as the conduit; and the lateral tunnel (LT) where part of the atrial wall is used along with a synthetic patch to create the conduit. The LT conduit is thought to grow in size in the long term because it is formed partially with biological tissue, as opposed to the EC conduit that retains its original size because it contains only synthetic material. The growth of the LT has not been yet quantified, especially in respect to the growth of other vessels forming the TCPC. Furthermore, the effect of this growth on the hemodynamics has not been elucidated. The objective of this study is to quantify the TCPC vessels growth in LT patients from serial magnetic resonance (MR) images, and to understand its effect on the connection hemodynamics using computational fluid dynamics (CFD).

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