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To define the frequency and characteristics of acute neurologic complications in children hospitalised with infective endocarditis and to identify risk factors for neurologic complications.
Retrospective cohort study of children aged 0–18 years hospitalised at a tertiary children’s hospital from 1 January, 2008 to 31 December, 2017 with infective endocarditis.
Sixty-eight children met Duke criteria for infective endocarditis (43 definite and 25 possible). Twenty-three (34%) had identified neurologic complications, including intracranial haemorrhage (25%, 17/68) and ischaemic stroke (25%, 17/68). Neurologic symptoms began a median of 4.5 days after infective endocarditis symptom onset (interquartile range 1, 25 days), though five children were asymptomatic and diagnosed on screening neuroimaging only. Overall, only 56% (38/68) underwent neuroimaging during acute hospitalisation, so additional asymptomatic neurologic complications may have been missed. Children with identified neurologic complications compared to those without were older (48 versus 22% ≥ 13 years old, p = 0.031), more often had definite rather than possible infective endocarditis (96 versus 47%, p < 0.001), mobile vegetations >10mm (30 versus 11%, p = 0.048), and vegetations with the potential for systemic embolisation (65 versus 29%, p = 0.004). Six children died (9%), all of whom had neurologic complications.
Neurologic complications of infective endocarditis were common (34%) and associated with mortality. The true frequency of neurologic complications was likely higher because asymptomatic cases may have been missed without screening neuroimaging. Moving forward, we advocate that all children with infective endocarditis have neurologic consultation, examination, and screening neuroimaging. Additional prospective studies are needed to determine whether early identification of neurologic abnormalities may direct management and ultimately reduce neurologic morbidity and overall mortality.
Interstage mortality causes are often unknown in infants with shunt-dependent univentricular defects. For 2 years, screening catheterisation was encouraged before neonatal discharge to determine if routine evaluation improved interstage outcomes.
Retrospective single-centre review of home monitoring programme from December, 2010 to June, 2012. Composite scores were created for physical examination/echocardiography risk factors; catheterisation risk factors; and interstage adverse events. Composite scores were compared between usual care and screening catheterisation groups. The ability of each risk factor composite to predict interstage adverse events, individually and in combination, was assessed with sensitivity, specificity, and receiver operating characteristic curves.
There were 27 usual care and 32 screening catheterisation patients. There were no significant differences between groups except rates of catheterisation before discharge (29.6 versus 100%, p < 0.001). Usual care patients who underwent catheterisation for clinical indications had higher intervention rates (37.5 versus 3.1%, p = 0.004). Physical examination/echocardiography risk factor frequency was similar, but usual care patients with catheterisation had a higher catheterisation risk factor frequency. Interstage adverse event frequency was similar (48.2 versus 53.1%, p = 0.7). For interstage adverse event prediction, sensitivity for the physical examination/echocardiography, catheterisation, and either risk factor composites was 53.3, 72, and 80%, respectively; specificity was 59, 60, and 48%. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve was 0.56, 0.66, and 0.64.
Screening catheterisation evaluation offered slightly increased sensitivity and specificity, but no difference in interstage adverse event frequency. Given this small advantage versus known risks, screening catheterisations are no longer encouraged.
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