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Libman–Sacks endocarditis is rare in children and adolescents, more so as a first manifestation of systemic lupus erythematosus. Currently, sterile verrucous lesions of Libman–Sacks endocarditis are recognised as a cardiac manifestation of both systemic lupus erythematosus and antiphospholipid syndrome. They are clinically silent in a majority of the cases. The presence of antiphospholipid antibodies in systemic lupus erythematosus is associated with three times higher prevalence of mitral valve nodules and significant mitral regurgitation. We present the case of isolated mitral regurgitation with abnormal looking mitral valve, detected in early childhood, which deteriorated to a severe degree in the next decade and was diagnosed as Libman–Sacks endocarditis after surgical repair from histopathology. The full-blown clinical spectrum of systemic lupus erythematosus with antiphospholipid antibodies was observed several weeks after cardiac surgery. We discuss the atypical course of Libman–Sacks endocarditis with follow-up for 10 years, along with a review of the literature.
The fate of right ventricular dimensions after surgical closure of secundum-type atrial septal defects remains unclear. The objectives of this study were to assess ventricular dimensions, exercise capability, and arrhythmias of patients operated for secundum-type atrial septal defect and compare the results with those in healthy references.
A total of 78 consecutive patients underwent surgical closure for a secundum-type atrial septal defect between 1990 and 1995. In all, 42 patients were included and underwent a cross-sectional evaluation including echocardiography, magnetic resonance imaging, exercise testing, and 24-hour ambulatory electrocardiography. Patients were matched with healthy controls for gender, body surface area, and age.
The mean age at surgery was 4.6 plus or minus 2.8 years, and the mean age at follow-up was 16 plus or minus 3 years. There were no residual intracardiac lesions. The mean right ventricular end-systolic volume was significantly larger in patients (142 ± 26 millilitres) than in references (137 ± 28 millilitres; p = 0.04). In 25% of the patients, right ventricular end-systolic volume was larger than the 95th percentile for references. No relevant arrhythmias were detected. Exercise testing did not reveal differences with healthy references: maximal power (169 ± 43 Watt patients versus 172 ± 53 controls; p = 0.8), maximal oxygen uptake (38 ± 8 versus 41 ± 13 millilitres per minute per kilogram; p = 0.1).
After surgical closure of secundum-type atrial septal defect, right ventricular end-systolic volume is increased. These findings have no impact on rhythm status or exercise capacity at this stage of follow-up, but may have implications for the timing of surgery or the technique of closure if confirmed in longer follow-up.
Several studies have demonstrated a significantly increased risk of specific patterns of congenital anomalies in infants born to diabetic mothers. In particular, caudal dysplasia sequence has been linked to pregnancy complicated by maternal diabetes. In addition, several cases of infants born to diabetic mothers presenting with features of DiGeorge anomaly have been reported. Infants with DiGeorge anomaly can display additional manifestations within the spectrum of caudal dysplasia sequence, including vertebral anomalies and renal agenesis.
We report a neonate presenting with the co-occurrence of features of both DiGeorge anomaly and caudal dysplasia sequence, born to a mother with poorly controlled insulin-dependent diabetes.
The patient was affected by truncus arteriosus type A1 and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
Maternal diabetes can cause a spectrum of manifestations, expressing with isolated DiGeorge anomaly or caudal dysplasia sequence, with intermediate phenotypes or with the co-occurrence of both the congenital anomalies in the same patient. The present observations argue for a feasible link between truncus arteriosus with hypertrophic cardiomiopathy, DiGeorge anomaly, and maternal diabetes.
To investigate the impact of flat-detector computed tomography on the clinical assessment of patients with cavopulmonary connections, and to evaluate the obtained diagnostic accuracy and supplementary information, as well as the value of overlaid three-dimensional reconstructions on fluoroscopic images during catheter-based interventions.
We analysed 31 consecutive patients retrospectively in whom flat-detector computed tomography was used to visualise the cavopulmonary connection. We investigated patients with cavopulmonary connections either early post-operatively (first group), before converting to a total cavopulmonary connection (second group), and patients with failing total cavopulmonary connection (third group). Flat-detector computed tomography based on a single rotational angiography was used to create a three-dimensional vascular model. The clinical value of flat-detector computed tomography was evaluated using standard categories of diagnostic utility. Used contrast volume and radiation exposure were quantified.
Within 18 months, flat-detector computed tomography was performed in 31 cases with cavopulmonary connections. The median age was 1.9 years (range 0.3–43 years). In the first group, we found anomalies in 4 out of 8 cases, which led to therapeutic or prophylactic procedures; in the second and third groups, we performed interventions in 14 out of 23 cases. The overall clinical value was always rated superior to conventional biplane angiography. The median dose area product was 91.8 microgray square metres (range 33.0–679.3 microgray square metres). The required contrast medium was 2.08 millilitres per kilogram (range 0.66–4.7 millilitres per kilogram).
Flat-detector computed tomography improves the diagnostic accuracy in cavopulmonary connections and provides additional diagnostic information, which may lead to therapeutic or prophylactic procedures. Overlaid three-dimensional images on fluoroscopy facilitate and provide security for interventions.
To assess clinical presentation, treatment, and outcome of children with Ebstein's anomaly.
Data on long-term outcome of children with Ebstein's anomaly are scarce.
Retrospective analysis of all children with Ebstein's anomaly treated between February, 1979 and January, 2009 in a single tertiary institution. Primary outcomes included patient survival and need for intervention, either cardiac surgery or catheter intervention.
A total of 42 patients were diagnosed with Ebstein's anomaly at a median age of 5 days ranging from 1 day to 11.7 years. Symptoms included cyanosis, heart murmur, and/or dyspnoea. Associated cardiac anomalies occurred in 90% of the patients. Average follow-up was 9.5 plus or minus 7.0 years. The overall mortality rate was 14%. Of the six patients, three died postnatally before treatment. Cardiac surgery and/or catheter-guided interventions were required in 33 patients (79%). Cardiac surgery was performed in 21 (50%) patients at a median age of 9.1 years (range 0.1–16.5 years), including biventricular repair in 13 (62%), one-and-a-half chamber repair in seven (33%), and a staged single-ventricle repair in one. Peri-operative mortality was 4%. Catheter-guided interventions consisted of device closure of an atrial septal defect in three cases and radiofrequency ablation of accessory pathways in nine patients. The estimated 10-year survival was 85.3 plus or minus 5.6%.
In children, Ebstein's anomaly is usually diagnosed in the first year of age. Even though children with Ebstein's anomaly often require an intervention, their peri-operative mortality is low and long-term survival is good. Symptomatic newborns requiring an intervention may have a worse outcome.
The aim of our study was to compare the blood levels of adhesion molecules in children with different heart diseases and pulmonary flow rates.
In this study, we evaluated the levels of soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 and soluble vascular cellular adhesion molecule-1 in blood samples of 65 children with different congenital heart diseases. The patients were divided into four groups according to their pulmonary blood flow. The first group had increased pulmonary blood flow with pulmonary hypertension and left-to-right shunt. The second group had increased pulmonary blood flow without pulmonary hypertension and left-to-right shunt. The third group had decreased pulmonary blood flow with cyanotic congenital heart disease and the fourth group had normal pulmonary blood flow with left ventricle outflow tract obstruction and aortic stenosis.
The highest soluble intercellular and vascular cellular adhesion molecule-1 levels with the mean values of 420.2 nanograms per millilitre and 1382.1 nanograms per millilitre, respectively, were measured in the first group and the lowest levels with the mean values of 104.4 and 358.6 nanograms per millilitre, respectively, were measured in the fourth group. The highest pulmonary blood pressure levels were found in the first group.
Endothelial activity is influenced not only by left-to-right shunt with pulmonary hypertension, but also by decreased pulmonary blood flow in cyanotic heart diseases. Adhesion molecules are valuable markers of endothelial activity in congenital heart diseases, and they are influenced by pulmonary blood flow rate.
Women with congenital heart disease are often considered to be restricted in their obstetrical life and even their marital life. Our single-centre study aimed to determine the real-life situation of these women with regard to successful family life and any pregnancy complications they may experience.
From our database of adults with congenital heart disease, 160 of 178 women completed a questionnaire and had their files reviewed. They were classified into three groups according to their pregnancy risk – “good condition” group, no pregnancy restriction; “at-risk” group, pregnancy allowed with close follow-up at a tertiary centre; and “contraindicated” group, pregnancy inadvisable.
The proportion of women in a relationship was 46% with no difference between the three groups. In the groups where pregnancy was allowed, 55% of women conceived a child. The total incidence of spontaneous abortion was 21%. The rate of caesarean section was 15%. The incidence of cardiac failure was 4.7%, arrhythmia 1.2%, endocarditis 1.2%, hypertension 2.4%, and preeclampsia 1.2%. Foetal complications included prematurity and/or low birth weight (9.5%) and one foetal malformation (0.82%).
Women with severe congenital heart disease are willing to start a family and are successful in this enterprise. Although the complication rate during pregnancy in congenital heart disease remains high, with good monitoring these pregnancies occur without severe complications and a low rate of medical abortion or caesarean section.
To evaluate exercise performance and body mass index in healthy children over an 8-year period in order to determine whether cardiorespiratory fitness has decreased relative to changes in body mass index in our patient population.
This study is a retrospective review of anthropometric and cardiorespiratory fitness data from our hospital's Exercise Physiology Laboratory's database on 1201 healthy children (6–18 years) with structurally normal hearts who performed one cycle ergometry test between 1999 and 2006. Subjects were stratified by gender and age. Body mass index was compared between 1999–2002 (Early Group) and 2003–2006 (Late Group) and with national averages. Exercise outcome variables were maximal oxygen consumption, anaerobic threshold, physical working capacity indexed to body weight. Analysis of variance was used to detect differences between groups for each outcome variable.
Body mass index was not significantly different from national data (p-value equals 0.79) or between groups. A negative trend (p-value greater than 0.15 less than 0.20) was observed among most indices of exercise performance between Early and Late Groups. Significantly lower anaerobic threshold was found among males between Early and Late Group (25.7 plus or minus 0.9 versus 23.4 plus or minus 1.6 millilitres per kilogram per minute, p-value less than 0.01), and in physical working capacity among females between Early and Late Groups (2.9 plus or minus 0.1 versus 2.7 plus or minus 0.1, p-value less than 0.05).
Cardiorespiratory fitness in males and working capacity in females declined over time independent of body mass index. This suggests that other measures may need to be evaluated for promotion of overall cardiovascular health.
This study was designed to investigate the value of history taking in identifying children with cardiac syncope, and to improve diagnostic efficiency and accuracy in children with cardiac syncope.
Methods and Results
We compared the characteristics of a group of children and adolescents with cardiac syncope at the Pediatric Syncope Unit of five hospitals in China with those with typical vasovagal syncope. We included a cohort of 275 patients in Pediatric Syncope Unit. A cardiac cause of syncope was established in 31 patients, autonomic-mediated reflex syncope in 214, non-syncopal attacks in 15, and in the remaining 15 the cause of syncope remained unexplained. Cardiac syncope was triggered by exercise, whereas vasovagal syncope by prolonged standing, warm-crowded place, and fear or pain emotion. Syncopal spells occurred at various positions in cardiac syncope. Children who had prodromal symptoms with cardiac syncope were significantly fewer than those with vasovagal syncope. Most children with cardiac syncope had history of abnormal electrocardiogram findings when compared with children suffering from vasovagal syncope. On multivariable analysis, history of abnormal electrocardiogram findings and exercise-triggered syncope were independent predictors of cardiac syncope.
Children and adolescents with a history of abnormal electrocardiogram findings and exercise-related syncope spells were at high risk for cardiac syncope.
Balloon atrial septostomy is a common palliative procedure in neonates with cyanotic congenital heart disease with restricted interatrial blood flow. Despite its advantages, balloon atrial septostomy is not a risk-free procedure and can be associated with numerous complications. The objective of this study is to determine whether the performance of this procedure out-of-hours has a significant impact on the incidence of adverse outcome measures.
Methods and Results
A total of 106 neonates who underwent balloon atrial septostomy between 2004 and 2010 were studied retrospectively. In all, 64 infants had the procedure performed within routine hours (9 am to 6 pm), whereas 42 neonates underwent the procedure out-of-hours (6:01 pm to 8:59 am). Procedure-related complications occurred in 32 infants (30.2%), which included 12 out of 64 (18.8%) infants in the routine-hours group and 20 out of 42 (47.6%) in the out-of-hours group. During further follow-up after surgery and including both major and minor adverse events, seven more infants (10.9%) suffered complications after balloon atrial septostomy in the routine-hours group and four more infants (9.5%) suffered complications in the out-of-hours group. This totalled the complication rate in the routine-hours group to 19 infants (29.7%) and 24 infants (57.1%) in the out-of-hours group (p = 0.001). A higher overall mortality rate was also noted in the out-of-hours group.
Balloon atrial septostomy performed out-of-hours produced higher complication rates as opposed to balloon atrial septostomy performed during routine hours. Only essential cases should be undertaken at night, and all other cases should be deferred to the daytime to limit unnecessary adverse complication.
In order to optimise care of the adult patients with complex congenital heart disease, there is a need to develop recommendations for interventions. This document is the work of representatives of the three relevant societies and provides recommendations for institutions and operators performing cardiac interventions in these patients.
Shunt occlusion is a major cause of death in children with single ventricle. We evaluated whether one daily measurement of oxygen saturation at home could detect life-threatening shunt dysfunction.
A total of 28 infants were included. Parents were instructed to measure saturation once daily and if less than or equal to 70% repeat the measurement. Home monitoring was defined as positive when a patient was admitted to Queen Silvia Children's Hospital because of saturation less than or equal to 70% on repeated measurement at home. A shunt complication was defined as arterial desaturation and a narrowing of the shunt that resulted in an intervention to relieve the obstruction or in death. Parents’ attitude towards the method was investigated using a questionnaire.
A shunt complication occurred out of hospital eight times in eight patients. Home monitoring was positive in five out of eight patients. In two patients, home monitoring was probably life saving; in one of them, the shunt was replaced the same day and the other had an emergency balloon dilatation of the shunt. In three out of eight patients, home monitoring was negative; one had an earlier stage II and survived, but two died suddenly at home from thrombotic shunt occlusion. On seven occasions in three patients home monitoring was positive but there was no shunt complication. The method was well accepted by the parents according to the results of the questionnaire.
Home monitoring of oxygen saturation has the potential to detect some of the life-threatening shunt obstructions between stages I and II in infants with single-ventricle physiology.
Childhood cardiac arrhythmias may have a long-lasting impact on a family and typically require long-term medical follow-up. Whereas some arrhythmias are benign, others can be life threatening and require significant medical care. As with many chronic illnesses, it is important to study the potential psychosocial effects of childhood arrhythmias and how they may impact a child's quality of life. The purpose of this study was to create a quality of life measure specific to childhood arrhythmias and to describe the current psychosocial functioning of this population. A total of 46 families participated in a one-time paper and pencil assessment during their regularly scheduled clinic visits. Results indicated promise for the validity and reliability of this new measure. Children in the current sample also demonstrated a high degree of resiliency. Additional analyses with larger samples will be needed to verify the psychometric properties of this measure. Overall, the high functioning of many of these children despite medical trauma is promising. Future studies should consider using some screening measures to decide which children may be most in need of intervention.
Genetic disturbances in folate metabolism may increase risk for congenital heart defects. We examined the association of heart defects with four polymorphisms in folate-related genes (methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) c.677C > T, MTHFR c.1298A > C, methionine synthase reductase (MTRR) c.66A > G, and reduced folate carrier (SLC19A1) c.80A > G) in a case–control study of children (156 patients, 69 controls) and mothers of children with heart defects (181 patients, 65 controls), born before folic acid fortification. MTRR c.66A > G in children modified odds ratios for overall heart defects, specifically ventricular septal defect and aortic valve stenosis (p-value below 0.05). The 66GG and AG genotypes were associated with decreased odds ratios for heart defects (0.42, 95% confidence interval (0.18–0.97) and 0.39 (0.18–0.84), respectively). This overall association was driven by decreased risk for ventricular septal defect for 66GG and AG (odds ratio 0.32 (0.11–0.91) and 0.25 (0.09–0.65)) and decreased odds ratio for aortic valve stenosis for 66AG (0.27 (0.09–0.79)). The association of ventricular septal defect and 66AG remained significant after correction for multiple testing (p = 0.0044, multiple testing threshold p = 0.0125). Maternal MTHFR 1298AC genotype was associated with increased odds ratio for aortic valve stenosis (2.90 (1.22–6.86), p = 0.0157), but this association did not meet the higher multiple testing threshold. No association between MTHFR c.677C > T or SLC19A1 c.80A > G and heart defect risk was found. The influence of folate-related polymorphisms may be specific to certain types of heart defects; larger cohorts of mothers and children with distinct sub-classes are required to adequately address risk.
We sought to prospectively determine foetal echocardiographic factors associated with neonatal interventions in borderline hypoplastic left ventricles.
Foetuses were included who had a left ventricle that was 2–4 standard deviations below normal for length or diameter and had forward flow across the mitral and aortic valves. Factors associated with an intervention in the first month of life or no need for intervention were sought using univariate and multivariate logistic regression models.
From 2005 to 2008, 47 foetuses meeting the criteria had an additional diagnosis (+foetal coarctation/+transverse arch hypoplasia): atrioventricular septal defect 7 (+2/+0), double outlet right ventricle 2 (+0/+0), Shone's complex 19 (+9/+4), and ventricular disproportion 19 (+13/+11; 4 both). There were seven pregnancies terminated, three foetal demises, and five had compassionate care. There were 32 livebirths that either had a biventricular repair (n = 20, n = 2 dead), univentricular palliation (n = 2, both alive), or no intervention (n = 9). Overall survival of livebirths to 6 months of age was 79%. Factors associated with early intervention on first foetal echocardiogram were: obstructed or retrograde arch flow (p = 0.08, odds ratio 3.3), coarctation (p = 0.05, odds ratio 11.4), and left ventricle outflow obstruction (p = 0.05, odds ratio 12.5). Neonatal factors included: Shone's diagnosis (p = 0.02, odds ratio 4.9), bicuspid aortic valve (p = 0.005, odds ratio 11.7), and larger tricuspid valve z-score (p = 0.05, odds ratio 3.6). A neonatal factor associated with no intervention was a larger mitral valve z-score (mean −3.8 versus −4.2 intervention group, p = 0.04, odds ratio 2.8).
The need for early intervention in foetuses with borderline hypoplastic left ventricle can be predicted by foetal echocardiography.
We report the case of a 78-year-old patient who underwent transcatheter aortic valve implantation. During the deployment, the leaflets of the implanted valve appeared to be stuck in calcium protruding from the native aortic leaflets, resulting in transient severe aortic regurgitation leading to cardiac arrest with successful cardiac resuscitation. Transient severe aortic regurgitation secondary to the mechanical failure of the deployed valve can lead to serious clinical consequences.
We present a rare case of ventriculocoronary fistulae in a patient with d-transposition of the great arteries, hypoplastic left heart, and pulmonary atresia. To our knowledge, this is the first report of this anatomic variant, and raises an important discussion about the development and implications of such fistulous connections.
We report the case of a 26-year-old asymptomatic woman, who presented for consultation after the detection of a cardiac murmur in a medical routine recognition. Doppler echocardiography and the 64-row multidetector computed tomography showed the presence of a significant enlargement of the right coronary artery winding in the contour of the right ventricle and its fistulosa connection to the coronary sinus. Although the coronary fistula in our patient had a considerable size, there was no ventricular dilation, and thus we chose, according to the desire of the patient, not to intervene, and to evaluate her regularly.
Aortic arch thrombus is a rare occurrence in neonates. In the few described cases, this has mainly been associated with sepsis or early postnatal interventions, such as insertion of umbilical arterial line. We describe a case of occlusive aortic arch thrombus in a neonate who presented with signs of critical coarctation and successfully underwent surgical thrombectomy on deep hypothermic circulatory arrest. We also present a review of the most recently published cases of aortic arch thrombus in neonates and the treatment options employed.
We describe a case of quick recovery of myocardium damage in a 15-year-old adolescent with subacute thyroiditis. After 1 week of admission, his cardiovascular status began to show signs of improvement accompanied by the recovery of electrocardiogram and indicators of myocardial damage. We speculate that myocardium damage associated with subacute thyroiditis is a complication of common virus, although we did not detect any abnormal virus antibody and deoxyribonucleic acid in the patient's serum.