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Adults with congenital heart disease face psychological challenges although an understanding of depression vs. anxiety symptoms is unclear. We analyzed the prevalence of elevated symptoms of anxiety and depression and explored associations with demographic and medical factors as well as quality of life.
Adults with congenital heart disease enrolled from an outpatient clinic completed the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and two measures of quality of life: the Linear Analogue Scale and the Satisfaction with Life Scale. Medical data were obtained by chart review.
Of 130 patients (median age = 32 years; 55% female), 55 (42%) had elevated anxiety symptoms and 16 (12%) had elevated depression symptoms on subscales of the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. Most patients with elevated depression symptoms also had elevated anxiety symptoms (15/16; 94%). Of 56 patients with at least one elevated subscale, 37 (66%) were not receiving mental health treatment. Compared to patients with 0 or 1 elevated subscales, patients with elevations in both (n=15) were less likely to be studying or working (47% vs. 81%; p=0.016) and reported lower scores on the Linear Analogue Scale (60 vs. 81, p<0.001) and the Satisfaction with Life Scale (14 vs. 28, p<0.001).
Among adults with congenital heart disease, elevated anxiety symptoms are common and typically accompany elevated depressive symptoms. The combination is associated with unemployment and lower quality of life. Improved strategies to provide psychosocial care and support appropriate engagement in employment are required.
Pulmonary lymphangiectasia associated with hypoplastic left heart syndrome with an intact or restrictive atrial septum may result from increased left atrial pressure, and is associated with worse outcomes following staged reconstruction due to lung dysfunction and significant hypoxaemia. Our objective was to characterise the incidence of pulmonary lymphangiectasia in cases of early mortality following stage 1 reconstructions.
An institutional cardiac surgical database was retrospectively searched for patients who died within 30 days following a stage 1 reconstruction between 1 January, 1984 and 31 December, 2013. During that period, 1669 stage 1 procedures were performed. Autopsy lung specimens were reviewed by a paediatric pathologist. Patients who died of suspected technical issues were excluded.
A total of 54 patients were included, and of these seven cases (8.5%) of pulmonary lymphangiectasia were identified. The mean estimated gestational age was 38.2±2.4 weeks, and the mean birth weight was 3.0±0.6 kg. The median interval between surgery and death was 1 day (with a range from 0 to 18 days). The atrial septum was intact in one patient (14.3%), restrictive in three patients (42.9%), and unrestrictive in three patients (42.9%).
Pulmonary lymphangiectasia may develop in hypoplastic left heart syndrome with or without a restrictive atrial septum. As standard prenatal diagnostic evaluations and treatment methods for pulmonary lymphangiectasia are limited, this may be an important contributor to early and late mortality following stage 1 reconstruction for hypoplastic left heart syndrome.
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