Charcot-Marie-Tooth News reports the findings of a study where patients with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT) who undergo Fontan surgery to correct a heart defect in childhood may later develop difficulties with the diaphragm — the muscle that allows us to breath — that can cause the earlier heart surgery to fail while leaving them ineligible for a heart transplant, a case study of a CMT1A patient reports.

Its researchers stress the importance of identifying CMT in patients recommended for Fontan surgery, as some disease types — like CMT1A — can result in damage to the nerve controlling breathing and make the procedure fail later in life.

The report, “Fontan Failure Secondary to Charcot-Marie-Tooth–Induced Phrenic Neuropathy,” appeared in the journal Texas Heart Institute Journal.

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