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There are several published echo-derived scores to help predict successful biventricular versus univentricular palliation in neonates with critical aortic stenosis. This study aims to determine whether any published scoring system accurately predicted outcomes in these neonates.
Single centre, retrospective cohort study including neonates who underwent aortic valve intervention (surgical valvotomy or balloon valvuloplasty) with the intention of biventricular circulation. Primary outcome was survival with biventricular circulation at hospital discharge. Data from their initial neonatal echocardiogram were used to compute the following scores – Rhodes, CHSS 1, Discriminant, CHSS 2, and 2 V.
Between 01/1999 and 12/2017, 68 neonates underwent aortic valve intervention at a median age of 4 days (range 1–29 days); 35 surgical valvotomy and 33 balloon valvuloplasty. Survival with biventricular circulation was maintained in 60/68 patients at hospital discharge. Of the remaining eight patients, three were converted to univentricular palliation, four died, and one underwent heart transplant prior to discharge. None of the binary score predictions of biventricular versus univentricular (using that score’s proposed cut-offs) were significantly associated with the observed outcome in this cohort. A high percentage of those predicted to need univentricular palliation had successful biventricular repair: 89.4% by Rhodes, 79.3% by CHSS 1, 85.2% by Discriminant, and 66.7% by CHSS 2 score. The 2 V best predicted outcome and agreed with the local approach in most cases.
This study highlights the limitations of and need for alternative scoring systems/cut-offs for consistently accurate echocardiographic prediction of early outcome in neonates with critical aortic stenosis.
The Pediatric Heart Network Normal Echocardiogram Database Study had unanticipated challenges. We sought to describe these challenges and lessons learned to improve the design of future studies.
Challenges were divided into three categories: enrolment, echocardiographic imaging, and protocol violations. Memoranda, Core Lab reports, and adjudication logs were reviewed. A centre-level questionnaire provided information regarding local processes for data collection. Descriptive statistics were used, and chi-square tests determined differences in imaging quality.
For the 19 participating centres, challenges with enrolment included variations in Institutional Review Board definitions of “retrospective” eligibility, overestimation of non-White participants, centre categorisation of Hispanic participants that differed from National Institutes of Health definitions, and exclusion of potential participants due to missing demographic data. Institutional Review Board amendments resolved many of these challenges. There was an unanticipated burden imposed on centres due to high numbers of echocardiograms that were reviewed but failed to meet submission criteria. Additionally, image transfer software malfunctions delayed Core Lab image review and feedback. Between the early and late study periods, the proportion of unacceptable echocardiograms submitted to the Core Lab decreased (14 versus 7%, p < 0.01). Most protocol violations were from eligibility violations and inadvertent protected health information disclosure (overall 2.5%). Adjudication committee reviews led to protocol changes.
Numerous challenges encountered during the Normal Echocardiogram Database Study prolonged study enrolment. The retrospective design and flaws in image transfer software were key impediments to study completion and should be considered when designing future studies collecting echocardiographic images as a primary outcome.
While echocardiographic parameters are used to quantify ventricular function in infants with single ventricle physiology, there are few data comparing these to invasive measurements. This study correlates echocardiographic measures of diastolic function with ventricular end-diastolic pressure in infants with single ventricle physiology prior to superior cavopulmonary anastomosis.
Data from 173 patients enrolled in the Pediatric Heart Network Infant Single Ventricle enalapril trial were analysed. Those with mixed ventricular types (n = 17) and one outlier (end-diastolic pressure = 32 mmHg) were excluded from the analysis, leaving a total sample size of 155 patients. Echocardiographic measurements were correlated to end-diastolic pressure using Spearman’s test.
Median age at echocardiogram was 4.6 (range 2.5–7.4) months. Median ventricular end-diastolic pressure was 7 (range 3–19) mmHg. Median time difference between the echocardiogram and catheterisation was 0 days (range −35 to 59 days). Examining the entire cohort of 155 patients, no echocardiographic diastolic function variable correlated with ventricular end-diastolic pressure. When the analysis was limited to the 86 patients who had similar sedation for both studies, the systolic:diastolic duration ratio had a significant but weak negative correlation with end-diastolic pressure (r = −0.3, p = 0.004). The remaining echocardiographic variables did not correlate with ventricular end-diastolic pressure.
In this cohort of infants with single ventricle physiology prior to superior cavopulmonary anastomosis, most conventional echocardiographic measures of diastolic function did not correlate with ventricular end-diastolic pressure at cardiac catheterisation. These limitations should be factored into the interpretation of quantitative echo data in this patient population.
Bodily isomerism, also referred to as heterotaxy, involves predominantly the thoracic organs, although other organs are usually abnormally positioned. Previously assessed on the basis of splenic anatomy, it is now understood that isomerism is better segregated on the basis of atrial appendage morphology. This allows for anticipation of associated findings. We aimed to assess the accuracy of segregation based on the morphology of the atrial appendages and other structures more easily identified by echocardiography.
We reviewed postmortem specimens of hearts from the archives at four institutions categorised as obtained from patients with “heterotaxy”. The cardiac structures were analysed using sequential segmental analysis. Non-cardiac structures were also examined if available. Statistical analyses were performed to compare differences in the settings of right as opposed to left isomerism.
Specimens were available from 188 patients. Of these, 57 had left isomerism, and 131 had right isomerism. Atrial appendages were isomeric in all patients. A coronary sinus was found only in left isomerism, whereas a terminal crest, or a Eustachian valve, was found only in right isomerism. Interruption of the inferior caval vein was associated with left isomerism, whereas totally anomalous pulmonary venous connection was associated with right isomerism.
Isomerism is uniformly segregated on the basis of the morphology of the atrial appendages, itself defined by the extent of the pectinate muscles. Other features such as the presence of a coronary sinus and systemic venous return can further help with such segregation of isomerism.
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