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Surgery for CHD has been slow to develop in parts of the former Soviet Union. The impact of an 8-year surgical assistance programme between an emerging centre and a multi-disciplinary international team that comprised healthcare professionals from developed cardiac programmes is analysed and presented.
Material and methods
The international paediatric assistance programme included five main components – intermittent clinical visits to the site annually, medical education, biomedical engineering support, nurse empowerment, and team-based practice development. Data were analysed from visiting teams and local databases before and since commencement of assistance in 2007 (era A: 2000–2007; era B: 2008–2015). The following variables were compared between periods: annual case volume, operative mortality, case complexity based on Risk Adjustment for Congenital Heart Surgery (RACHS-1), and RACHS-adjusted standardised mortality ratio.
A total of 154 RACHS-classifiable operations were performed during era A, with a mean annual case volume by local surgeons of 19.3 at 95% confidence interval 14.3–24.2, with an operative mortality of 4.6% and a standardised mortality ratio of 2.1. In era B, surgical volume increased to a mean of 103.1 annual cases (95% confidence interval 69.1–137.2, p<0.0001). There was a non-significant (p=0.84) increase in operative mortality (5.7%), but a decrease in standardised mortality ratio (1.2) owing to an increase in case complexity. In era B, the proportion of local surgeon-led surgeries during visits from the international team increased from 0% (0/27) in 2008 to 98% (58/59) in the final year of analysis.
The model of assistance described in this report led to improved adjusted mortality, increased case volume, complexity, and independent operating skills.
Balloon atrial septostomy is performed in infants with dextro-transposition of the great arteries to improve oxygenation before surgery. It is performed in the catheterisation laboratory with fluoroscopy or at the bedside using echocardiography. It is unclear whether procedural safety and efficacy is superior in one location versus the other, although the bedside procedure may improve resource utilisation and present an opportunity for reducing cost. This study compares safety and efficacy of atrial septostomy performed at the patient’s bedside versus the catheterisation laboratory.
Neonates with dextro-transposition of the great arteries who underwent balloon atrial septostomy from October, 2000 to January, 2014 were included. Medical and procedural records, echocardiograms, and catheterisation data were reviewed. Comparisons between the two procedural locations included patient demographics, pre- and post-procedure oxygen saturations, and outcomes. Complications reviewed included bleeding, arrhythmia, cardiac trauma, stroke, and death. Coronary artery evaluations were recorded. T-tests were used for continuous variables, and Fisher’s exact tests were used for all categorical variables. Wilcoxon rank sum and analysis of covariance modelling were used for time variables and oxygen saturation, respectively.
A total of 88 infants met the inclusion criteria. Among them, 53 underwent septostomy at the bedside and 35 underwent septostomy in the catheterisation laboratory. No safety or outcome benefit was identified between the two procedural locations.
Septostomy performed at the bedside and in the catheterisation laboratory had similar outcomes and efficacy. Further, bedside septostomy has the advantage of no radiation exposure, and obviating risks with patient transfer from the ICU to the catheterisation laboratory.
Pulmonary balloon valvuloplasty is a safe and effective treatment for children with pulmonary valve stenosis. A few studies evaluate the long-term outcomes of the procedure, particularly the degree of pulmonary regurgitation. We evaluated the outcomes of children >1 year following valvuloplasty for pulmonary valve stenosis.
A retrospective analysis of children with pulmonary valve stenosis following pulmonary balloon valvuloplasty at a single institution was performed. Clinic summaries, catheterisation data, and echocardiographic data were reviewed. Inclusion criteria were isolated pulmonary valve stenosis, age <19 years at the time of intervention, and at least one echocardiogram performed at least 1 year after valvuloplasty.
A total of 53 patients met inclusion criteria. The median age at valvuloplasty was 0.4 years (0.01–10.6 years). The last follow-up was 4.8±2.3 years following valvuloplasty. The pre-valvuloplasty peak instantaneous gradient by echocardiography was 60.6±14.6 mmHg. The peak gradient at the first postoperative echocardiography was reduced to 25.5±12 mmHg (p<0.001), and further decreased to 14.8±15.8 mmHg (p<0.001) at the most recent follow-up. The degree of regurgitation increased from before valvuloplasty to after valvuloplasty (p<0.001) but did not progress at the most recent follow-up (p=0.17). Only three patients (5.7%) required re-intervention for increasing pulmonary stenosis (two surgical; one repeat balloon). No significant procedural complications occurred.
Pulmonary balloon valvuloplasty remains a safe and effective treatment for children with isolated pulmonary valve stenosis, with excellent long-term outcomes and no mortality. A few patients require further intervention. Long-term follow-up demonstrates decreased, residual stenosis. Patients have a small, acute increase in pulmonary regurgitation following valvuloplasty, but no long-term progression.
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