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The Eighth World Congress of Pediatric Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery (WCPCCS) will be held in Washington DC, USA, from Saturday, 26 August, 2023 to Friday, 1 September, 2023, inclusive. The Eighth World Congress of Pediatric Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery will be the largest and most comprehensive scientific meeting dedicated to paediatric and congenital cardiac care ever held. At the time of the writing of this manuscript, The Eighth World Congress of Pediatric Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery has 5,037 registered attendees (and rising) from 117 countries, a truly diverse and international faculty of over 925 individuals from 89 countries, over 2,000 individual abstracts and poster presenters from 101 countries, and a Best Abstract Competition featuring 153 oral abstracts from 34 countries. For information about the Eighth World Congress of Pediatric Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery, please visit the following website: [www.WCPCCS2023.org]. The purpose of this manuscript is to review the activities related to global health and advocacy that will occur at the Eighth World Congress of Pediatric Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery.
Acknowledging the need for urgent change, we wanted to take the opportunity to bring a common voice to the global community and issue the Washington DC WCPCCS Call to Action on Addressing the Global Burden of Pediatric and Congenital Heart Diseases. A copy of this Washington DC WCPCCS Call to Action is provided in the Appendix of this manuscript. This Washington DC WCPCCS Call to Action is an initiative aimed at increasing awareness of the global burden, promoting the development of sustainable care systems, and improving access to high quality and equitable healthcare for children with heart disease as well as adults with congenital heart disease worldwide.
“Harlequin effect” may be observed in the watershed region of a patient with pulmonary dysfunction, receiving peripheral veno-arterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation via the femoral vessels. In such cases, retrograde oxygenated blood from the peripheral inflow cannula converges with the antegrade deoxygenated blood ejected from the left ventricle. This occurs when the left ventricle is ejecting significantly but the recovery of pulmonary function lags behind. Herein, we describe the occurrence of “Harlequin effect” in the setting of central veno-arterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation that ensues due to the persistence of right ventricular dysfunction in the presence of an interatrial communication. This results in right to left shunting at the atrial level while weaning the patient from extracorporeal life support.
Cardiac myxoma is a relatively rare tumour, usually solitary, that occurs primarily in the left atrium of adults, but comprises only 30% of cardiac tumours in children. We recently treated a 12-year-old girl with multiple recurrent myxomas in three cardiac chambers(following surgical resection 3 years earlier). Genomic analysis showed the PKAR1A mutation typical for Carney complex
Tetralogy of Fallot with pulmonary atresia is a group of congenital cardiac malformations, which is defined by the absence of luminal continuity between both ventricles and the pulmonary artery, and an interventricular communication. Pulmonary arterial supply in patients with tetralogy of Fallot with pulmonary atresia can be via the arterial duct or from collateral arteries arising directly or indirectly from the aorta (systemic-to-pulmonary artery collaterals), or rarely both. The rarest sources of pulmonary blood flow are aortopulmonary window and fistulous communication with the coronary artery.
Herein, we describe an outflow tract malformation, tetralogy of Fallot with pulmonary atresia and aortopulmonary window, which was misdiagnosed as common arterial trunk. We emphasise the morphological differences.
Balloon valvuloplasty and surgical aortic valvotomy have been the treatment mainstays for congenital aortic stenosis in children. Choice of intervention often differs depending upon centre bias with limited relevant, comparative literature.
This study aims to provide an unbiased, contemporary matched comparison of these balloon and surgical approaches.
Retrospective analysis of patients with congenital aortic valve stenosis who underwent balloon valvuloplasty (Queensland Children’s Hospital, Brisbane) or surgical valvotomy (Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne) between 2005 and 2016. Patients were excluded if pre-intervention assessment indicated ineligibility to either group. Propensity score matching was performed based on age, weight, and valve morphology.
Sixty-five balloon patients and seventy-seven surgical patients were included. Overall, the groups were well matched with 18 neonates/25 infants in the balloon group and 17 neonates/28 infants in the surgical group. Median age at balloon was 92 days (range 2 days – 18.8 years) compared to 167 days (range 0 days – 18.1 years) for surgery (rank-sum p = 0.08). Mean follow-up was 5.3 years. There was one late balloon death and two early surgical deaths due to left ventricular failure. There was no significant difference in freedom from reintervention at latest follow-up (69% in the balloon group and 70% in the surgical group, p = 1.0).
Contemporary analysis of balloon aortic valvuloplasty and surgical aortic valvotomy shows no difference in overall reintervention rates in the medium term. Balloon valvuloplasty performs well across all age groups, achieving delay or avoidance of surgical intervention.
The term right aortic arch is used for an aorta that arches over the right bronchus. Right aortic arch was classified into two types by Felson et al, based on branching patterns, with a proposed embryological explanation, and into three types by Shuford et al. Other anatomical variants of right aortic arch were described later, including isolated left brachiocephalic artery and aberrant left brachiocephalic artery. We have classified right aortic arch anatomy into 10 variants, supported by radiological evidence, and with reference to possible embryology. This classification will help in understanding the morphological basis for the formation of different types of right aortic arch and the course of the recurrent laryngeal nerve in such cases.
Tetralogy of Fallot is the most common form of cyanotic CHD, with an incidence of 421 cases per million live births, constituting around 10% of CHD. Variations in aortic arch anatomy associated with tetralogy of Fallot, other than the incidence of right aortic arch (13–34%), are not frequently reported. A comprehensive analysis of a large number of tetralogy of Fallot cases is required to arrive at a compendious description of aortic arch anatomy.
Materials and methods:
All patients with a diagnosis of tetralogy of Fallot who had CT or MRI either pre or post procedures between 1 January 2010 and 31 December 2019 at our hospital were included in the study. Using radiology consultants’ reports and analysis of individual images, we identified the various morphological patterns of aortic arches prevalent in these patients.
Out of 2684 patients who met the inclusion criteria, 1983 patients had left aortic arch (73.9%), 688 patients had right aortic arch (25.7%), four patients had cervical aortic arch (0.15%), eight patients had double aortic arch (0.3%), one patient had an aorto-pulmonary window (0.04%), and none of the patients had interrupted aortic arch. Sub-classification and clinical implications of the arch variations are described.
Up to 10% of tetralogy of Fallot patients may have significant anatomical variations of aortic arch that would necessitate changes or additional steps in their surgical or interventional procedures.
We reviewed all patients who were supported with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation and/or ventricular assist device at our institution in order to describe diagnostic characteristics and assess mortality.
A retrospective cohort study was performed including all patients supported with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation and/or ventricular assist device from our first case (8 October, 1998) through 25 July, 2016. The primary outcome of interest was mortality, which was modelled by the Kaplan–Meier method.
A total of 223 patients underwent 241 extracorporeal membrane oxygenation runs. Median support time was 4.0 days, ranging from 0.04 to 55.8 days, with a mean of 6.4±7.0 days. Mean (±SD) age at initiation was 727.4 days (±146.9 days). Indications for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation were stratified by primary indication: cardiac extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (n=175; 72.6%) or respiratory extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (n=66; 27.4%). The most frequent diagnosis for cardiac extracorporeal membrane oxygenation patients was hypoplastic left heart syndrome or hypoplastic left heart syndrome-related malformation (n=55 patients with HLHS who underwent 64 extracorporeal membrane oxygenation runs). For respiratory extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, the most frequent diagnosis was congenital diaphragmatic hernia (n=22). A total of 24 patients underwent 26 ventricular assist device runs. Median support time was 7 days, ranging from 0 to 75 days, with a mean of 15.3±18.8 days. Mean age at initiation of ventricular assist device was 2530.8±660.2 days (6.93±1.81 years). Cardiomyopathy/myocarditis was the most frequent indication for ventricular assist device placement (n=14; 53.8%). Survival to discharge was 42.2% for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation patients and 54.2% for ventricular assist device patients. Kaplan–Meier 1-year survival was as follows: all patients, 41.0%; extracorporeal membrane oxygenation patients, 41.0%; and ventricular assist device patients, 43.2%. Kaplan–Meier 5-year survival was as follows: all patients, 39.7%; extracorporeal membrane oxygenation patients, 39.7%; and ventricular assist device patients, 43.2%.
This single-institutional 18-year review documents the differential probability of survival for various sub-groups of patients who require support with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation or ventricular assist device. The indication for mechanical circulatory support, underlying diagnosis, age, and setting in which cannulation occurs may affect survival after extracorporeal membrane oxygenation and ventricular assist device. The Kaplan–Meier analyses in this study demonstrate that patients who survive to hospital discharge have an excellent chance of longer-term survival.
The 2017 Seventh World Congress was held in Barcelona, Spain, 16–21 July. The week in review for this meeting is presented in the current issue of Cardiology in the Young, and herein we discuss the surgical highlights of the programme.
In this report, the authors prepared an opinion poll regarding the most important people, events, technologies, concepts, discoveries, and therapies in paediatric cardiology and cardiac surgery. The results were presented in continuous slide show format at the 2017 Seventh World Congress of Pediatric Cardiology & Cardiac Surgery (WCPCCS 2017), Barcelona, Spain. The presentation (under international copyright) is made available herein for educational purposes.
Population-based registries report 95% 5-year survival for children undergoing surgery for CHD. This study investigated paediatric cardiac surgical outcomes in the Australian indigenous population.
All children who underwent cardiac surgery between May, 2008 and August, 2014 were studied. Demographic information including socio-economic status, diagnoses and co-morbidities, and treatment and outcome data were collected at time of surgery and at last follow-up.
A total of 1528 children with a mean age 3.4±4.6 years were studied. Among them, 123 (8.1%) children were identified as indigenous, and 52.7% (62) of indigenous patients were in the lowest third of the socio-economic index compared with 28.2% (456) of non-indigenous patients (p⩽0.001). The indigenous sample had a significantly higher Comprehensive Aristotle Complexity score (indigenous 9.4±4.2 versus non-indigenous 8.7±3.9, p=0.04). The probability of having long-term follow-up did not differ between groups (indigenous 93.8% versus non-indigenous 95.6%, p=0.17). No difference was noted in 30-day mortality (indigenous 3.2% versus non-indigenous 1.4%, p=0.13). The 6-year survival for the entire cohort was 95.9%. The Cox survival analysis demonstrated higher 6-year mortality in the indigenous group – indigenous 8.1% versus non-indigenous 5.0%; hazard ratio (HR)=2.1; 95% confidence intervals (CI): 1.1, 4.2; p=0.03. Freedom from surgical re-intervention was 79%, and was not significantly associated with the indigenous status (HR=1.4; 95% CI: 0.9, 1.9; p=0.11). When long-term survival was adjusted for the Comprehensive Aristotle Complexity score, no difference in outcomes between the populations was demonstrated (HR=1.6; 95% CI: 0.8, 3.2; p=0.19).
The indigenous population experienced higher late mortality. This apparent relationship is explained by increased patient complexity, which may reflect negative social and environmental factors.
Pediatric cardiac surgical education and the associated requirements for certification vary considerably from one country to another. Evolution and standardization for pediatric cardiac surgical education may not have kept pace with the evolution of other aspects of the specialty. Restriction of work hours and disqualification of foreign training experience constitute potential threats to our specialty. A global strategy for qualification and certification may help to address some of these difficult issues.
In the United States alone, ∼14,000 children are hospitalised annually with acute heart failure. The science and art of caring for these patients continues to evolve. The International Pediatric Heart Failure Summit of Johns Hopkins All Children’s Heart Institute was held on February 4 and 5, 2015. The 2015 International Pediatric Heart Failure Summit of Johns Hopkins All Children’s Heart Institute was funded through the Andrews/Daicoff Cardiovascular Program Endowment, a philanthropic collaboration between All Children’s Hospital and the Morsani College of Medicine at the University of South Florida (USF). Sponsored by All Children’s Hospital Andrews/Daicoff Cardiovascular Program, the International Pediatric Heart Failure Summit assembled leaders in clinical and scientific disciplines related to paediatric heart failure and created a multi-disciplinary “think-tank”. The purpose of this manuscript is to summarise the lessons from the 2015 International Pediatric Heart Failure Summit of Johns Hopkins All Children’s Heart Institute, to describe the “state of the art” of the treatment of paediatric cardiac failure, and to discuss future directions for research in the domain of paediatric cardiac failure.
In the domain of paediatric and congenital cardiac care, the stakes are huge. Likewise, the care of these children assembles a group of “A+ personality” individuals from the domains of cardiac surgery, cardiology, anaesthesiology, critical care, and nursing. This results in an environment that has opportunity for both powerful collaboration and powerful conflict. Providers of healthcare should avoid conflict when it has no bearing on outcome, as it is clearly a squandering of individual and collective political capital.
Outcomes after cardiac surgery are now being reported transparently and publicly. In the present era of transparency, one may wonder how to balance the following potentially competing demands: quality healthcare, transparency and accountability, and teamwork and shared decision-making.
An understanding of transparency and public reporting in the domain of paediatric cardiac surgery facilitates the implementation of a strategy for teamwork and shared decision-making. In January, 2015, the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) began to publicly report outcomes of paediatric and congenital cardiac surgery using the 2014 Society of Thoracic Surgeons Congenital Heart Surgery Database (STS-CHSD) Mortality Risk Model. The 2014 STS-CHSD Mortality Risk Model facilitates description of Operative Mortality adjusted for procedural and patient-level factors.
The need for transparency in reporting of outcomes can create pressure on healthcare providers to implement strategies of teamwork and shared decision-making to assure outstanding results. A simple strategy of shared decision-making was described by Tom Karl and was implemented in multiple domains by Jeff Jacobs and David Cooper. In a critical-care environment, it is not unusual for healthcare providers to disagree about strategies of management of patients. When two healthcare providers disagree, each provider can classify the disagreement into three levels:
• SDM Level 1 Decision: “We disagree but it really does not matter, so do whatever you desire!”
• SDM Level 2 Decision: “We disagree and I believe it matters, but I am OK if you do whatever you desire!!”
• SDM Level 3 Decision: “We disagree and I must insist (diplomatically and politely) that we follow the strategy that I am proposing!!!!!!”
SDM Level 1 Decisions and SDM Level 2 Decisions typically do not create stress on the team, especially when there is mutual purpose and respect among the members of the team. SDM Level 3 Decisions are the real challenge. Periodically, the healthcare team is faced with such Level 3 Decisions, and teamwork and shared decision-making may be challenged. Teamwork is a learned behaviour, and mentorship is critical to achieve a properly balanced approach. If we agree to leave our egos at the door, then, in the final analysis, the team will benefit and we will set the stage for optimal patient care. In the environment of strong disagreement, true teamwork and shared decision-making are critical to preserve the unity and strength of the multi-disciplinary team and simultaneously provide excellent healthcare.