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We describe the case of a 17-year-old boy who developed acute myopericarditis associated with transient ventricular wall thickening. This is a unique teaching case illustrating that acute myocarditis can be associated with significant oedema, secondary to inflammation, causing marked wall thickening that is apparent on echocardiography. This oedema resolves completely with anti-inflammatory drug treatment.
The aim of the study was to evaluate the early myocardial dysfunction detected by strain echocardiography in children with multisystem inflammatory syndrome related to SARS-CoV-2 infection.
This cross-sectional study was conducted with 47 patients diagnosed with MIS-C and 32 healthy age- and gender-matched children. All patients underwent two-dimensional, colour, pulsed, and tissue Doppler, and 2D speckle tracking echocardiography examination at admission, 2 weeks, and 2 months after discharge. The MIS-C patient group was compared with the control group. Echocardiographic changes in MIS-C patients during follow-up were evaluated.
Of 47 patients, 30 (63.8%) were male and 17 (36.2%) were female. The mean age at diagnosis was 9.1 ± 4.3 (1.25–17) years. At admission, 25 patients had abnormal findings on conventional echocardiography. Among them, eight patients had left ventricular systolic dysfunction. Ejection fraction and fractional shortening were significantly lower in the patient group at admission compared to controls (p = 0.013, p = 0.010, respectively). While the ejection fraction was <55% in eight patients, and global longitudinal strain was lower than −2SD in 29 patients at admission. Global longitudinal strain z-score <−2SD persisted in 13 patients at 2-month follow-up. Ejection fraction increased above 55% in 3.42 ± 0.53 days in 7 of 8 patients with left ventricular systolic dysfunction, ejection fraction was 51% at discharge in one patient, and left ventricular systolic dysfunction persisted at the 6-month of follow-up.
These results confirmed that speckle tracking echocardiography is more likely to detect subclinical myocardial damage compared to conventional echocardiography. In addition, it is a valuable method for follow-up in this patient group.
Congenital absence of the aortic valve is characterised by the absence of aortic valve and severe regurgitation. The rest of the reported cases were mostly diagnosed either on postnatal echocardiography or autopsy. Here, we present a foetal case with the absence of the aortic valve and “inverse circulatory shunt”.
A 27-year-old man applied for routine control due to aortic coarctation stent. During routine control, a late in-stent thrombus was detected. The patient was asymptomatic. Thrombus resolution was achieved with anticoagulant therapy. Anticoagulant therapy is one of the options in the treatment of aortic stent graft-associated asymptomatic thrombus. Surgical intervention might be required in case of thromboembolism, haemodynamic deterioration, and intra-aortic gradient with high blood pressure in the upper extremity.
A newborn girl was referred for a suspected abnormal pulmonary venous return in coronary sinus. Echocardiogram revealed a large outpouching of the left ventricle creating an accessory cardiac chamber that was connected to the left ventricle behind the mural leaflet of the mitral valve, and with the right atrium via the coronary sinus. Ten years later, the orifice between the submitral aneurysm and the left ventricle was closed percutaneously.
Limited data exist on training of European paediatric and adult congenital cardiologists.
A structured and approved questionnaire was circulated to national delegates of Association for European Paediatric and Congenital Cardiology in 33 European countries.
Delegates from 30 countries (91%) responded. Paediatric cardiology was not recognised as a distinct speciality by the respective ministry of Health in seven countries (23%). Twenty countries (67%) have formally accredited paediatric cardiology training programmes, seven (23%) have substantial informal (not accredited or certified) training, and three (10%) have very limited or no programme. Twenty-two countries have a curriculum. Twelve countries have a national training director. There was one paediatric cardiology centre per 2.66 million population (range 0.87–9.64 million), one cardiac surgical centre per 4.73 million population (range 1.63–10.72 million), and one training centre per 4.29 million population (range 1.63–10.72 million population). The median number of paediatric cardiology fellows per training programme was 4 (range 1–17), and duration of training was 3 years (range 2–5 years). An exit examination in paediatric cardiology was conducted in 16 countries (53%) and certification provided by 20 countries (67%). Paediatric cardiologist number is affected by gross domestic product (R2 = 0.41).
Training varies markedly across European countries. Although formal fellowship programmes exist in many countries, several countries have informal training or no training. Only a minority of countries provide both exit examination and certification. Harmonisation of training and standardisation of exit examination and certification could reduce variation in training thereby promoting high-quality care by European congenital cardiologists.
DiGeorge syndrome has heterogeneous clinical presentation, and for this reason, its diagnosis can be challenging and may be missed. Since CHDs are very common in this patients, they can be considered pillars of clinical diagnosis of the syndrome. Therefore, accurate echocardiography is needed to detect even minor cardiac anomalies, as some specific malformation like crossed pulmonary arteries can be associated with 22q11 syndrome. We report two cases of newborns where the diagnosis of DiGeorge syndrome was suspected after finding crossed pulmonary arteries on echocardiography. In order to reach a timely diagnosis of DiGeorge syndrome, we suggest a careful echocardiographic examination of the pulmonary arteries position in all patients and genetic analysis for 22q11.2 microdeletion in patients in whom malposition has been detected.
We report a neonate who presented with spontaneous thrombus formation in the native aortic root after Norwood palliation for hypoplastic left heart syndrome. Thrombus formation led to myocardial ischaemia due to decreased coronary blood flow with electrocardiographic signs of ischaemia and elevated cardiac enzymes. Aggressive thrombolysis and anticoagulation therapy were major contributors to successful outcome.
Among 65 neonates with encephalopathy undergoing cooling, 30 (46.1%) received chest compressions during delivery room resuscitation. Despite differences in encephalopathy severity, early (<24 hours) biventricular function on echocardiogram (fractional area change, myocardial performance indices, systolic to diastolic duration ratios, tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion) was comparable between groups with and without chest compressions. Epinephrine receipt was associated with abnormal tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion.
First-year cardiology fellows must quickly learn basic competency in echocardiography during fellowship orientation. This educational process was disrupted in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, as our hands-on echocardiography teaching transitioned from practice on paediatric volunteers to simulation-based training. We previously described an improvement in echocardiographic completeness after implementation of a standardised imaging protocol for the performance of acute assessments of ventricular function. Herein, we assessed whether this improvement could be sustained over the two subsequent years, including the fellowship year affected by the pandemic. Echocardiograms performed by first-year paediatric cardiology fellows to assess ventricular function were reviewed for completeness. The frequency with which each requested component was included was measured. A total demographic score (out of 7) and total imaging score (out of 23) were calculated. The pre-protocol years (2015–2017) were compared to the post-protocol years (2018–2020), and the pre-COVID years (2018–2019) were compared to the year affected by COVID (2020). There was a sustained improvement in completeness after protocol implementation with improvement in the demographic score (median increasing from 6 to 7, p < 0.001) and imaging score (median increasing from 13 to 16, p < 0.001). More individual components showed a statistically significant increase in frequency compared to our prior publication. The COVID pandemic resulted in very few differences in completeness. Demographic reporting improved modestly (p = 0.04); the imaging score was unchanged (p = 0.59). The only view obtained less frequently was the apical two-chamber view. A standardised imaging protocol allowed sustained improvements in echocardiographic completeness despite the disruption of fellowship orientation by COVID-19.
Myocarditis is an inflammation of the heart muscle. In this case, a previously healthy, 17-year-old adolescent with myocarditis after BNT162b2 mRNA vaccination was reported. He was admitted to the hospital with severe chest pain, changes in electrocardiography, and elevation in serum troponin level after fourth day of receiving first dose of vaccine. There was no coronary arterial disease in coronary angiogram. A diagnosis of vaccine-induced myocarditis was made, and supportive treatment was initiated.
Diabetic ketoacidosis is one of the most serious and common complications of diabetes, with between 15 and 70% of new-onset type 1 diabetes mellitus worldwide presented with diabetic ketoacidosis. Supraventricular tachycardia, however, is an infrequent complication of diabetic ketoacidosis. We present the case of a child with a new-onset type 1 diabetes mellitus with supraventricular tachycardia as a complication of paediatric diabetic ketoacidosis. The patient received intravenous fluid resuscitation, insulin, and potassium supplementation and subsequently developed stable supraventricular tachycardia initially, confirmed on a 12-lead electrocardiogram despite a structurally normal heart and normal electrolytes. Vagal manoeuvers failed to achieve sinus rhythm. The patient went into respiratory distress and was intubated, for mechanical ventilation. She received one dose of adenosine with successful conversion to sinus rhythm and a heart rate decreased from 200 to 140 beats per minutes. We conclude that supraventricular tachycardia can occur as a complication of diabetic ketoacidosis, including in new-onset type 1 diabetes mellitus. Furthermore, a combination of acidosis, potassium derangement, falling magnesium, and phosphate levels may have precipitated the event. Here, we report a case of supraventricular tachycardia as a complication of paediatric diabetic ketoacidosis.
Noonan syndrome is a genetic disorder with high prevalence of congenital heart defects, such as pulmonary stenosis, atrial septal defect and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Scarce data exists regarding the safety of pregnancy in patients with Noonan syndrome, particularly in the context of maternal cardiac disease.
We performed a retrospective chart review of patients at Yale-New Haven Hospital from 2012 to 2020 with diagnoses of Noonan syndrome and pregnancy. We analysed medical records for pregnancy details and cardiac health, including echocardiograms to quantify maternal cardiac dysfunction through measurements of pulmonary valve peak gradient, structural heart defects and interventricular septal thickness.
We identified five women with Noonan syndrome (10 pregnancies). Three of five patients had pulmonary valve stenosis at the time of pregnancy, two of which had undergone cardiac procedures. 50% of pregnancies (5/10) resulted in pre-term birth. 80% (8/10) of all deliveries were converted to caesarean section after a trial of labour. One pregnancy resulted in intra-uterine fetal demise while nine pregnancies resulted in the birth of a living infant. 60% (6/10) of livebirths required care in the neonatal intensive care unit. One infant passed away at 5 weeks of age.
The majority of mothers had pre-existing, though mild, heart disease. We found high rates of prematurity, conversion to caesarean section, and elevated level of care. No maternal complications resulted in long-term morbidity. Our study suggests that women with Noonan syndrome and low-risk cardiac lesions can become pregnant and deliver a healthy infant with counselling and risk evaluation.
Cardiovascular complications are the most frequent cause of death in patients with the Hutchinson–Gilford progeria syndrome. However, due to its rarity, studying the course of cardiac abnormalities has been a challenge. The cardiovascular phenotype helps to provide greater insight into the natural history of these abnormalities.
This study aimed to investigate whether the third trimester fetal cardiac diastolic function measured by selected conventional Doppler indices is affected in appropriate-for-gestational-age or macrosomic fetuses of gestational diabetic mothers with poor glycaemic control.
This cross-sectional study included 93 pregnant women divided into two groups. Group 1 included 45 appropriate-for-gestational-age or macrosomic fetuses from gestational diabetic mothers with poor glycaemic control (study group). Group 2 included 48 appropriate-for-gestational-age fetuses from gestational age-matched healthy mothers (control group). Functional fetal cardiac parameters and fetoplacental Doppler parameters were measured. Data were compared between the two groups.
Maternal characteristics did not differ significantly between the study and the control group. There were no significant differences in the early and late velocity, early/late velocity ratio of both mitral and tricuspid valves, the fetal pulmonary vein pulsatility index, and the ductus venosus pulsatility index between the study and the control group. Moreover, the rate of abnormal Doppler findings in pulmonary vein (pulmonary vein pulsatility index >95th centile), ductus venosus (ductus venosus pulsatility index >95th centile), and peripheral vessels (umbilical artery pulsatility index >95th centile, middle cerebral artery pulsatility index <5th centile, cerebra-placental index >95th centile) were comparable in both groups.
The third trimester fetal diastolic functions measured by selected conventional Doppler techniques do not seem to be altered in appropriate-for-gestational-age or macrosomic fetuses of gestational diabetic mothers who have poor glycaemic control.
Prenatal diagnosis of critical CHDs and planned peripartum care is an emerging concept in resource-limited settings.
To report the impact of prenatal diagnosis and planned peripartum care on costs of neonatal cardiac care in a resource-limited setting.
Prospective study (October 2019 to October 2020). Consecutive neonates undergoing surgery or catheter-based interventions included. Patients were divided into prenatal (prenatal diagnosis) and post-natal (diagnosis after birth) groups. Costs of cardiac care (total, direct, and indirect) and health expenses to income ratio were compared between study groups; factors impacting costs were analysed.
A total of 105 neonates were included, including 33 in prenatal group. Seventy-seven neonates (73.3%) underwent surgical procedures while the rest needed catheter-based interventions. Total costs were 16.2% lower in the prenatal group (p = 0.008). Direct costs were significantly lower in the prenatal group (18%; p = 0.02), especially in neonates undergoing surgery (20.4% lower; p = 0.001). Health expenses to income ratio was also significantly lower in the prenatal group (2.04 (1.03–2.66) versus post-natal:2.58 (1.55–5.63), p = 0.01);, particularly in patients undergoing surgery (prenatal: 1.58 (1.03–2.66) vs. post-natal: 2.99 (1.91–6.02); p = 0.002). Prenatal diagnosis emerged as the only modifiable factor impacting costs on multivariate analysis.
Prenatal diagnosis and planned peripartum care of critical CHD is feasible in resource-limited settings and is associated with significantly lower costs of neonatal cardiac care. The dual benefit of improved clinical outcomes and lower costs of cardiac care should encourage policymakers in resource-limited settings towards developing more prenatal cardiac services.
The left and right ventricular dysfunction are important clinical course indicators in patients with repaired tetralogy of Fallot. This study aimed to evaluate ventricular volumes, functions, and myocardial deformation in children with repaired tetralogy of Fallot by real-time three-dimensional (four-dimensional) echocardiography and compared with healthy children. It also aimed to investigate the relationships between ventricular volumes, functions, and myocardial deformation parameters in the patients.
Materials and methods:
In this cross-sectional study, 35 patients (mean age 15.1 ± 2.8 years, 54% male) and 35 healthy controls of similar age, gender, and body measurements underwent echocardiography. End-diastolic volume index, end-systolic volume index, and ejection fractions of both ventricles; global longitudinal, circumferential, radial strain, twist, and torsion of the left ventricle; the longitudinal strain of the right ventricle free wall and septum were measured.
Left ventricular ejection fraction, global circumferential and radial strain, twist and torsion were significantly lower in patients compared with controls. Left ventricular ejection fraction correlated with global circumferential (r = −0.446, p < 0.001) and radial strain (r = −0.433, p < 0.001) in the patients. Right ventricular volumes were significantly higher, and ejection fraction was significantly lower in patients compared with controls. All right ventricular parameters correlated with each other in the patients.
Left ventricular contraction pattern was changed, circumferential and radial fibres were most affected in the patients. Right ventricular dilatation and dysfunction were detected, and right ventricular ejection fraction correlated well with strain measurements of the right ventricle.
We aimed to evaluate the efficacy and role of high-sensitivity troponin T in children with a confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection and also the correlation of troponin T levels with symptoms, and echocardiographic findings were analysed.
Two hundred and fourteen patients with a confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection between the dates of 28 March and 15 August 2020 were enrolled in this retrospective single-centre study. Patients with comorbidities and diagnosed as multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children were excluded. Demographic data, clinical and laboratory parameters were evaluated. The patients were classified and compared according to the troponin positivity. The correlation of troponin T with symptoms and echocardiographic findings was analysed.
The most common symptoms in the whole study group were fever (53.3%) and cough (24.8%). Troponin T levels were elevated in 15 (7%) patients. The most common symptom in patients with troponin positivity was also fever (73.3%). Troponin T positivity was significantly higher in patients under the age of 12 months and troponin T levels were negatively correlated with age. C-reactive protein levels were elevated in 77 (36%) of the patients in the whole group and 7 (46.7%) of 15 patients with troponin positivity. C-reactive protein levels were similar between groups.
Routine troponin screening does not yield much information in previously healthy paediatric COVID-19 patients without any sign of myocardial dysfunction. Elevated troponin levels may be observed but it is mostly a sign of myocardial injury without detectable myocardial dysfunction in this group of patients.
Dilated cardiomyopathy is the most common presentation of cardiomyopathy in children with 20–35% of patients having an identified genetic component. There are more than 30 genes implicated in the pathogenesis of dilated cardiomyopathy. We present the first report of a female infant with dilated cardiomyopathy with a genetic variant in the dispatched RND transporter family member 1 gene.