Objectives: The most effective method of long-term thromboprophylaxis after the Fontan procedure is not clear. We compared the rates of thromboembolic events between patients receiving aspirin and warfarin after an extracardiac conduit Fontan procedure in a bi-national registry.
Methods: All patients who underwent an extracardiac conduit Fontan procedure from 1997 to 2010 in Australia and New Zealand were identified. Medication status and routine follow-up and echocardiographic data were obtained from all patients. Survival analysis with propensity score matching and adjustment was performed to determine the treatment effect of warfarin compared with that of aspirin beyond the first year of follow-up, after which time patients had settled on their long-term thromboprophylaxis strategy.
Results: Of 570 eligible patients, the data of 475 patients who were regularly followed up without mechanical valve replacement were available for analysis. Long-term thromboprophylaxis consisted of warfarin in 301 patients (63%), aspirin in 157 (33%) and none in 17 (4%). The 10-year rate of freedom from all thromboembolic events was 91% [95% confidence interval (CI) 88-94%]. Thromboembolic events beyond the first year of follow-up occurred in 18 patients (6 on aspirin and 12 on warfarin). After (i) propensity score adjustment and (ii) matching yielding 164 pairs, the hazard rates of thromboembolic events beyond the first year were not statistically different between the warfarin and aspirin groups [(i) hazard ratio (HR) 2.3, 95% CI 0.7-7.4, P = 0.2 and (ii) HR 1.5, 95% CI 0.5-4.7, P = 0.5, respectively].
Conclusions: No difference in the hazard rates of late thromboembolic events was observed between aspirin and warfarin beyond the first year after the extracardiac conduit Fontan procedure.