Understanding the Impact of Fontan Circulatory Repair on Brain Blood Flow Health

Children born with an absent or ineffective right or left ventricle (single ventricle) have a low life expectancy and will undergo at least three surgical procedures ultimately leading to the Fontan Procedure (FP), which allows blood to travel directly to the lungs (bypassing the heart) to become oxygenated. Adolescent FP-patients indicate poor cardiovascular health which in turn could challenge brain blood flow, thereby affecting cognitive capacity and increasing risk of stroke. FP is a relatively new procedure and long-term effects on brain health are unknown. We will combine magnetic resonance (MRI) and ultrasound imaging, cognitive testing, and cardiac/brain blood flow control testing, to provide a preliminary assessment of brain blood flow health in FP-treated patients. It is anticipated that FP-treated patients will behave have poorer cerebrovascular outcomes than age-matched healthy controls. In line with the Children’s Health Foundation (the NFP organization partner) mission statement, this study will bring together the research and health care communities to influence these children’s primary care thereby improving long-term quality of life for children born with abnormal heart conditions.

Faculty Supervisor:

Kevin Shoemaker


Baraa Al-Khazraji


Children's Health Foundation




Medical devices


Western University



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