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Transconduit approach for pulmonary vein stenting in an extracardiac Fontan and plastic bronchitis case


Plastic bronchitis (PB) is a rare but severe complication in patients following the Fontan operation, the final palliative procedure for single ventricle heart disease. PB is characterised by the formation of rubbery casts of the tracheobronchial tree that may cause cough, wheezing, dyspnoea and hypoxia. Progressive airway obstruction may lead to asphyxia and death, and the overall mortality rate is 15.2%. Most patients receive a combination therapy from three different treatment strategies, that is, therapy for relief of airway obstruction, anti-inflammatory treatment and treatment to improve haemodynamics of the Fontan physiology. Therapy improving haemodynamics consists of optimising the Fontan circulation or cardiac function, antiarrhythmic therapy, inhibition of lymph leakage/production, decompression of the Fontan circulation and heart transplantation.

We present the case of a child with PB after extracardiac Fontan operation, who was refractory to balloon angioplasty and surgical release for pulmonary vein (PV) stenosis. We decided to perform stent implantation for the right PVs through transconduit puncture instead of fenestration because the position of fenestration was too high to access the PVs. After PV stenting via the transconduit approach, she experienced improvement in cough, wheezing and breathlessness, and a significant reduction in airway cast formation.

  • Interventional cardiology
  • Interventional cardiology
  • Paediatric intensive care

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