Transcatheter Thoracic Duct Decompression for Multicompartment Lymphatic Failure After Fontan Palliation.

TitleTranscatheter Thoracic Duct Decompression for Multicompartment Lymphatic Failure After Fontan Palliation.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsSmith CL, Dori Y, O'Byrne ML, Glatz AC, Gillespie MJ, Rome JJ
JournalCirc Cardiovasc Interv
Date Published2022 Jun 16

BACKGROUND: Lymphatic embolization therapy has proven effective for Fontan failure from plastic bronchitis or protein-losing enteropathy but not when multiple lymphatic compartments are involved; furthermore, embolization does not alter the underlying pathophysiology of lymphatic dysfunction. A technique for transcatheter thoracic duct decompression (TDD), rerouting the thoracic duct to the pulmonary venous atrium to treat multicompartment lymphatic failure is described and early outcomes presented.

METHODS: Initially covered stents were used to channel the innominate vein flow inside of the cavopulmonary pathway into the pulmonary venous atrium. A modified approach was developed where covered stents redirected innominate vein directly to the left atrium via an extravascular course. Baseline and follow-up data on all patients undergoing TDD were reviewed.

RESULTS: Twelve patients underwent TDD between March 2018 and February 2021 at a median age of 12 (range: 2-22) years. Lymphatic failure occurred in median of 3 compartments per patient (protein-losing enteropathy, ascites, pleural effusions, plastic bronchitis); 10 patients had lymphatic embolizations before TDD. TDD method was intra-Fontan tunnel in 4, direct approach in 7, and other in 1. There were no major procedural complications; 6 patients underwent subsequent procedures, most commonly to treat endoleaks. Lymphatic failure resolved in 6 patients, improved in 2, and was unchanged in 4 at 6 (range: 1-20) months follow-up. One patient died after TDD from Fontan failure.

CONCLUSIONS: TDD is a promising new treatment for the failing Fontan physiology from multicompartment lymphatic failure. Additional work is needed to refine the technique and define optimal candidates.

Alternate JournalCirc Cardiovasc Interv
PubMed ID35708032