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The aim of this study was to investigate the potential role of N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide in the assessment of shunt severity and invasive haemodynamic parameters in children with atrial septal defects and ventricular septal defects.
This is a prospective, controlled (n:62), observational study. Correlation analysis was performed between N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide levels and various invasive haemodynamic measurements in 127 children (ventricular septal defect: 64; atrial septal defect: 63). A ratio of pulmonary to systemic blood flow (Qp/Qs⩾1.5) was considered to indicate a significant shunt.
Statistically significant relationship was found between the mean N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide values of the patients, with Qp/Qs⩾1.5 in both defect types and control group. For ventricular septal defect, N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide level⩾113.5 pg/ml was associated with high specificity and sensitivity for determining the significant shunt. In addition, the cut-off point for determining the significant shunt for atrial septal defect was 57.9 pg/ml. Significant positive correlation was found between all invasive haemodynamic parameters and N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide levels in patients with ventricular septal defects. Whereas significant positive correlation was found only between mean pulmonary artery pressure, right ventricular end-diastolic pressure, and systemic pressure to pulmonary pressure ratio and N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide levels in patients with atrial septal defects.
Our study demonstrated that the N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide measurements could be used as a supporting parameter in determining significance of the shunt.
Acute rheumatic fever is an autoimmune, inflammatory, and multi-systemic disease secondary to pharyngitis and is caused by group A streptococcus. In developing countries, acute rheumatic fever is the most common cause of acquired heart disease. Gelsolin is a calcium-dependent, multi-functional actin-regulatory protein circulating in the plasma of healthy human beings. The correlation between blood gelsolin levels and inflammatory conditions suggests the potential benefit of gelsolin as a prognostic marker. The aim of the present study was to appraise the association of gelsolin and acute rheumatic carditis in childhood.
Materials and Methods
Plasma gelsolin levels were measured and echocardiographic examinations were performed in patients (n=37) with acute rheumatic carditis and compared with those of age- and gender-matched healthy controls (n=24).
The plasma gelsolin levels in children with acute rheumatic carditis were significantly lower compared with controls (197±218 versus 322±255 mg/L, p=0.039). There was a significant correlation among gelsolin levels and the grade of mitral regurgitation (p=0.030), left ventricular end-diastolic diameter (p=0.017), and left ventricular end-systolic diameter (p=0.028) at diagnosis.
Levels of the gelsolin plasma isoform were decreased in patients with acute rheumatic carditis compared with healthy controls. Gelsolin may be used as a biochemical marker for acute rheumatic carditis.
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