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Fontan fenestration allows right-to-left shunting increasing cardiac output and oxygen delivery. Increased shunting occurs as cardiac function and ventricular end-diastolic pressures improve, potentially decreasing oxygen saturation. Complete closure may result in impaired Fontan haemodynamics and low cardiac output; however, there are no dedicated devices to reduce fenestration size. We describe Fontan fenestration size reduction using the Atrial Flow Regulator.
The citation history of a published article reflects its impact on the literature over time. We conducted a comprehensive bibliometric analysis to identify the most cited papers on CHD in children.
One-hundred and ninety journals listed in Journal Citation Reports were accessed via Web of Science. Publications with 250 or more citations were identified from Science Citation Index Expanded (1900–2020), and those relating to structural CHD in children were reviewed. Articles were ranked by citation count and the 100 most cited were analysed.
The number of citations ranged from 2522 to 309 (median 431, IQR 356–518), with 35 published since 2000. All were written in English, most originated from the United States (74%), and were published in cardiovascular journals, with Circulation (28%) the most frequent. There were 86 original research articles, including 50 case series, 14 cohort studies, and 10 clinical trials. The most cited paper was by Hoffman JI and Kaplan S on the incidence of CHD. Thirteen authors had 4 or more publications in the top 100, all of whom had worked in Boston, Philadelphia, San Francisco, or Dallas, and the most prolific author was Newburger JW (9 articles).
Citation analysis provides a historical perspective on scientific progress by assessing the impact of individual articles. Our study highlights the dominant position of US-based researchers and journals in this field. Most of the highly cited articles remain case series, with few randomised controlled trials in CHD appearing in recent years.
Technologically, advances in both transcatheter and surgical techniques have been continuing in the past 20 years, but an updated comprehensive comparison in device-based versus surgery in adults in terms of incidence of in-hospital mortality, perioperative stroke, and atrial fibrillation onset is still lacking. We investigate the performance of transcatheter device-based closure compared to surgical techniques by a systematic review and meta-analysis of the last 20 years literature data.
Material and methods:
The analysis was conducted following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) statement. Literature search was performed based on Cochrane Library, Embase, PubMed, and Google Scholar to locate articles published between January 2000 and October 2020, regarding the comparison between short-term outcome and post-procedural complications of atrial septal defect patients receiving transcatheter or surgical closure. The primary outcome was the comparison of in-hospital mortality from all causes between patients treated with transcatheter closure or cardiac. Secondary outcomes were the onset of post-procedural atrial fibrillation or perioperative stroke.
A total of 2360 patients were included of which 1393 [mean age 47.6 years, 952 females (68.3%)] and 967 [mean age 40.3 years, 693 females (71.6%)] received a transcatheter device-based and surgery closure, respectively. In-hospital mortality [OR 0.16 (95% CI (0.66−0.44)), p = 0.0003, I2 = 0%], perioperative stroke [OR 0.51 (95% CI (0.31−0.84)), p = 0.003, I2 = 79%], and post-procedural atrial fibrillation [OR 0.14 (95% CI (0.03−0.61)), p = 0.009, I2 = 0%] significantly favoured transcatheter device-based closure
Transcatheter atrial septal defect closure resulted safer in terms of in-hospital mortality, perioperative stroke, and post-procedural atrial fibrillation compared to traditional surgery.
People with CHD are at increased risk for executive functioning deficits. Meta-analyses of these measures in CHD patients compared to healthy controls have not been reported.
To examine differences in executive functions in individuals with CHD compared to healthy controls.
We performed a systematic review of publications from 1 January, 1986 to 15 June, 2020 indexed in PubMed, CINAHL, EMBASE, PsycInfo, Web of Science, and the Cochrane Library.
Inclusion criteria were (1) studies containing at least one executive function measure; (2) participants were over the age of three.
Data extraction and quality assessment were performed independently by two authors. We used a shifting unit-of-analysis approach and pooled data using a random effects model.
The search yielded 61,217 results. Twenty-eight studies met criteria. A total of 7789 people with CHD were compared with 8187 healthy controls. We found the following standardised mean differences: −0.628 (−0.726, −0.531) for cognitive flexibility and set shifting, −0.469 (−0.606, −0.333) for inhibition, −0.369 (−0.466, −0.273) for working memory, −0.334 (−0.546, −0.121) for planning/problem solving, −0.361 (−0.576, −0.147) for summary measures, and −0.444 (−0.614, −0.274) for reporter-based measures (p < 0.001).
Our analysis consisted of cross-sectional and observational studies. We could not quantify the effect of collinearity.
Individuals with CHD appear to have at least moderate deficits in executive functions. Given the growing population of people with CHD, more attention should be devoted to identifying executive dysfunction in this vulnerable group.
Aneurysm and pseudoaneurysm development is a known, albeit uncommon, complication after right ventricular outflow tract surgical reconstruction. Large right ventricular outflow tract aneurysms and pseudoaneurysms have not been extensively described in recent literature and we report our experience with this unusual complication in five patients at our institution over the last 8 years. Although uncommon, this complication has potentially important clinical implications. Thus, clinicians should be aware of its potential, particularly in certain anatomic conditions.
To compile a literature overview of physical activity in children with CHD and to critically evaluate the methodology used for physical activity assessment.
A review of the literature was performed using PubMed to identify studies examining accelerometer and subjectively assessed physical activity in children and adolescents with CHD.
A total of 15 studies were included (6 studies using subjective measures and 9 articles using accelerometers for the assessment of physical activity). The patients generally failed to meet the recommendations of physical activity. When compared to healthy controls, the results were widely divergent in the subjectively assessed measures and the accelerometer-based studies showed a tendency of no difference in physical activity. Neither subjective methods nor accelerometer-based studies reported any difference in physical activity in general, in relation to the severity of the heart disease.
Methodological variation and limitations in the assessment of physical activity largely explain the divergent results and the inability to establish differences in physical activity between children with CHD of different severity and compared to healthy controls. Methodological knowledge and guidelines are provided for improved assessment of physical activity using accelerometers in clinical research.
Alveolar capillary dysplasia with misalignment of the pulmonary veins is an uncommon disorder that affects the lung vasculature development in the neonatal period and leads to pulmonary hypertension. We describe two patients with alveolar capillary dysplasia associated with left-sided obstructive heart defects with two different genetic variants. Our cases highlight the importance of early recognition of this disease in the setting of persistent and supra-systemic pulmonary hypertension despite surgical correction of the associated lesions. Identification of these cases will facilitate the development of a multidisciplinary approach and provide guidance to the affected families.
Transcatheter closure of secundum-type atrial septal defects has become the treatment of choice in the majority of cases. Femoral venous access is the standard rout for device implantation. Anatomic abnormalities of venous system including interrupted inferior caval vein with azygous continuation can make the percutaneous procedure more complicated. In such instances, alternative methods of transjugular or transhepatic approach or surgical repair should be considered. We present the case of a 50-year-old male with secundum-type atrial septal defect and a rare form of segmental interruption of inferior caval vein and describe successful atrial septal defect closure through transfemoral approach.
Reproductive issues as related to CHD must be discussed in the clinic and at home. Providers can ensure that correct information is imparted to the adolescent and encourage mothers to provide support and guidance to the adolescent. The level to which these conversations occur is unknown.
A survey distributed to female adolescent/mother dyads assessed self-reported conversations with the healthcare provider and between each other about reproductive health topics. A clinician survey was completed to assess CHD diagnosis, risk of hormonal contraception, and pregnancy risk.
Among 91 dyads, 33.0% of adolescents and 42.9% of mothers reported discussing recurrence risk of CHD with the provider. In regard to the cardiac lesion affecting a baby, 30.7% of adolescents and 28.7% of mothers reported discussing this with a provider. Significantly less adolescents and mothers reported discussing the risks of hormonal contraception and pregnancy with a provider. In assessing conversations between adolescents and mothers, only 44.2% of adolescents and 52.3% of mothers reported discussing with each other the safety of using birth control and 46.5% of adolescents and 64.0% of mothers reported discussing the safety of pregnancy.
Adolescents with CHD and their mothers report low rates of reproductive health-related conversations with the healthcare provider, and mothers report low rates of having these conversations with their daughters. These topics should be discussed at each appointment with the cardiologist and must be encouraged to continue at home.
To evaluate the reliability of balloon coronary compression testing during percutaneous pulmonary valve implantation.
Despite the widespread use of the ‘balloon coronary test’ as the preferable method to rule out the risk of coronary compression, this adverse event has been described after pulmonary valve implantation where coronary balloon test suggested no risk or low risk, calling into question the accuracy of the test.
We performed a retrospective chart review of 84 patients who underwent pulmonary valve implantation between January 2018 and December 2019 and selected 36 patients whose archived imaging was suitable to perform quantitative analysis of the ‘balloon coronary test’. We focused on the spatial disparity between the right ventricular outflow tract position defined by the inflated testing balloon and the eventual implanted valve position, to classify the test as inaccurate or accurate.
In total, 36.1% of cases were classified as having an inaccurate coronary balloon test. Among the baseline characteristics, right ventricular outflow tract substrate was identified as a significant predictor of test accuracy. Related to this characteristic, the type of testing balloon used and the size of the eventually implanted valve were found to be associated with test accuracy.
Based on our findings, balloon coronary testing is not an accurate method of predicting final valve position with respect to fixed structures in the thorax. This may translate to a high false positive rate for the likelihood of coronary compression in pulmonary valve implantation.
To evaluate the discriminative ability of hyperlactataemia for early morbidity and mortality in neonates with CHD following cardiac surgery.
Retrospective, observational study of neonates who underwent cardiac surgery on cardiopulmonary bypass at a tertiary care children’s hospital from June 2015 to June 2019. The primary predictor was lactate. The primary composite outcome was defined as ≥1 of the following: cardiac arrest or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation within 72 hours or 30-day mortality post-operatively. The secondary outcome was the presence of major residual lesions, according to the Technical Performance Score.
Of 432 neonates, 28 (6.5%) sustained the composite outcome. On univariate analysis, peak lactate within 48 hours, increase in lactate from ICU admission through 12 hours, and single ventricle physiology were significantly associated with the composite outcome. The peak lactate occurred at a median of 2.9 hours (interquartile range: 1, 35) before the event. Through multi-variable analysis, a multi-variable risk algorithm was created. Predicted probabilities demonstrated an increasing risk based on single ventricle status and delta lactate, ranging from 1.8% (95% CI: 0.9, 3.9) to 52.4% (95% CI: 32.4, 71.7). The model had good discriminative ability for the composite outcome on receiver operating characteristic analysis (area under the curve = 0.79; 95% CI: 0.75, 0.89). Moreover, a peak lactate of 7.3 mmol/l or greater was significantly associated with the presence of a major residual lesion (odds ratios: 5.16, 95% CI: 3.01, 8.87).
We present a simple, two-variable model, including delta lactate in the immediate post-operative period and single ventricle status, to prognosticate the risk of early morbidity and mortality in neonates undergoing cardiac surgery for potential intervention.
The prevalence of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder in the general population is common and is now diagnosed in 4%–12% of children. Children with CHD have been shown to be at increased risk for attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Case reports have led to concern regarding the use of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder medications in children with underlying CHD. We hypothesised that medical therapy for patients with CHD and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder is safe.
A single-centre, retrospective chart review was performed evaluating for adverse events in patients aged 4–21 years with CHD who received attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder therapy over a 5-year span. Inclusion criteria were a diagnosis of CHD and concomitant medical therapy with amphetamines, methylphenidate, or atomoxetine. Patients with trivial or spontaneously resolved CHD were excluded from analysis.
In 831 patients with CHD who received stimulants with a mean age of 12.9 years, there was only one adverse cardiovascular event identified. Using sensitivity analysis, our median follow-up time was 686 days and a prevalence rate of 0.21% of adverse events. This episode consisted of increased frequency of supraventricular tachycardia in a patient who had this condition prior to initiation of medical therapy; the condition improved with discontinuation of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder therapy.
The incidence of significant adverse cardiovascular events in our population was similar to the prevalence of supraventricular tachycardia in the general population. Our single-centre experience demonstrated no increased risk in adverse events related to medical therapy for children with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and underlying CHD. Further population-based studies are indicated to validate these findings.
We report a case of a newborn infant with coarctation of the aorta and hypoplastic transverse aortic arch who was found to have a circumaortic double left innominate vein on echocardiography. This exceedingly rare finding was important for surgical planning and was confirmed during congenital heart surgery.
Anomalous coronary arteries from the pulmonary artery are uncommon causes of heart failure in the adult population. This case demonstrates the unusual presentation in a patient with anomalous right coronary artery from the pulmonary artery and discusses the complex pathophysiology of this lesion and the role of guideline-directed medical therapy in the management of these patients.
Patients with CHD exhibit reduced isometric muscle strength and muscle mass; however, little is known how these parameters relate. Therefore, the aim was to investigate the relation between isometric limb muscle strength and muscle mass for patients in comparison to age- and sex-matched control subjects.
Seventy-four patients (35.6 ± 14.3 years, women n = 22) and 74 matched controls were included. Isometric muscle strength in elbow flexion, knee extension, and hand grip was assessed using dynamometers. Lean mass, reflecting skeletal muscle mass, in the arms and legs was assessed with dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry.
Compared to controls, patients had lower muscle strength in elbow flexion, knee extension, and hand grip, and lower muscle mass in the arms (6.6 ± 1.8 kg versus 5.8 ± 1.7 kg, p < 0.001) and legs (18.4 ± 3.5 kg versus 15.9 ± 3.2 kg, p < 0.001). There was no difference in achieved muscle force per unit muscle mass in patients compared to controls (elbow flexion 0.03 ± 0.004 versus 0.03 ± 0.005 N/g, p = 0.5; grip strength 0.008 ± 0.001 versus 0.008 ± 0.001 N/g, p = 0.7; knee extension 0.027 ± 0.06 versus 0.028 ± 0.06 N/g, p = 0.5). For both groups, muscle mass in the arms correlated strongly with muscle strength in elbow flexion (patients r = 0.86, controls, r = 0.89), hand grip (patients, r = 0.84, controls, r = 0.81), and muscle mass in the leg to knee extension (patients r = 0.64, controls r = 0.68).
The relationship between isometric muscle strength and limb muscle mass in adults with CHD indicates that the skeletal muscles have the same efficiency as in healthy controls.
Feeding difficulty is a known complication of congenital heart surgery. Despite this, there is a relative sparsity in the available data regarding risk factors, incidence, associated symptoms, and outcomes.
In this retrospective chart review, patients aged 0–18 years who underwent congenital heart surgery at a single institution between January and December, 2017 were reviewed. Patients with feeding difficulties before surgery, multiple surgeries, and potentially abnormal recurrent laryngeal nerve anatomy were excluded. Data collected included patient demographics, feeding outcomes, post-operative symptoms, flexible nasolaryngoscopy findings, and rates of readmission within a 1-year follow-up period. Multivariable regression analyses were performed to evaluate the risk of an alternative feeding plan at discharge and length of stay.
Three-hundred and twenty-six patients met the inclusion criteria for this study. Seventy-two (22.09%) were discharged with a feeding tube and 70 (97.22%) of this subgroup were younger than 12 months at the time of surgery. Variables that increased the risk of being discharged with a feeding tube included patient age, The Society of Thoracic Surgeons–European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery score, procedure group, aspiration, and reflux. Speech-language pathology was the most frequently utilised consulting service for patients discharged with feeding tubes (90.28%) while other services were not frequently consulted. The median length of stay was increased from 4 to 10 days for patients who required an enteral feeding tube at discharge.
Multidisciplinary management protocol and interventions should be developed and standardised to improve feeding outcomes following congenital heart surgery.
To examine the use of early intervention services in infants with CHD after open-heart surgery and identify factors associated with receipt of services.
Surveys were administered to caregivers of infants who underwent open-heart surgery before 1 year of age at a single institution between July, 2017 and July, 2018. Information regarding the infant’s use of early intervention services and the caregiver’s experience with the programme was obtained. Clinical data were retrieved from the medical record review. Logistic regression identified factors associated with receipt of services.
The study included 158 eligible infants. Ninety-eight caregivers (62%) completed the surveys. Of those surveyed, 53.1% of infants were currently or previously enrolled in early intervention services. Infants most frequently received physical therapy (76.9%). The majority of caregivers found services to be moderately/very helpful (92.3%) and sufficient for their child (76.9%). In the univariate analysis, single-ventricle disease, known syndrome/genetic abnormality, extracardiac anomaly, and longer intensive care and hospital length of stay were associated with receipt of services. Single-ventricle disease (p = 0.004) and known syndrome/genetic abnormality (p < 0.0001) remained independently associated with receipt of services in the multivariable analysis.
Amongst infants at risk for neurodevelopmental deficits, approximately half received services after open-heart surgery. Caregivers expressed satisfaction with the programme. While infants with single-ventricle disease and a known syndrome/genetic abnormality were more likely to receive early intervention services, many at-risk infants with CHD failed to receive services. Further research is needed to identify barriers to early intervention services and promote developmental outcomes.
The number of adults requiring surgeries for CHD is increasing. We sought to evaluate the utility of the vasoactive-ventilation-renal (VVR) score as a predictor of prolonged length of stay in adults following CHD surgery.
This is a retrospective review of 158 adult patients who underwent CHD surgery involving cardiopulmonary bypass. VVR score was calculated upon arrival to ICU and every 6 hours for the first 48 hours post-operatively. Our primary outcome was prolonged length of stay defined as hospital length of stay greater than 75th percentile for the cohort (≥8 days).
The study cohort had a median age of 25.6 years (18–60 years), and 83 (52.5%) were male. The groups with and without prolonged length of stay were comparable in age, gender, race, and surgical severity score. VVR score was significantly higher at all time points in the group with prolonged length of stay. The first post-operative day peak VVR score ≥13 had a sensitivity of 81% and specificity of 75% for predicting prolonged length of stay (p = 0.0001). On regression analysis, peak VVR score during the first day was independently associated with prolonged length of stay.
Peak VVR score during the first post-operative day was a strong predictor of prolonged length of stay in adults following CHD surgery.
Prostaglandin E1 is used to maintain ductal patency in critical congenital heart disease (CHD). The standard starting dose of prostaglandin E1 is 0.05 µg/kg/minute. Lower doses are frequently used, but the efficacy and safety of a low-dose regimen of prostaglandin E1 has not been established.
We investigated neonates with critical CHD who were started on prostaglandin E1 at 0.01 µg/kg/minute. We reviewed 154 consecutive patients who were separated into three anatomical groups: obstruction to systemic circulation, obstruction to pulmonary circulation, and inadequate mixing (d-transposition of the great arteries). Treatment failure rates and two commonly reported side effects, respiratory depression and seizure, were studied.
A total of 26 patients (17%) required a dose increase in prostaglandin E1. Patients with pulmonary obstruction were more likely to require higher doses than patients with systemic obstruction (15/49, 31% versus 9/88, 10%, p = 0.003). Twenty-eight per cent of patients developed respiratory depression and 8% of patients needed mechanical ventilation. Prematurity (<37 week gestation) was the primary risk factor for respiratory depression. No patient required dose escalation or tracheal intubation while on transport. No patient had a seizure attributed to prostaglandin E1.
Prostaglandin E1 at an initial and maintenance dose of 0.01 µg/kg/minute was sufficient to maintain ductal patency in 83% of our cohort. The incidence of respiratory depression requiring mechanical ventilation was low and was mostly seen in premature infants. Starting low-dose prostaglandin E1 at 0.01 µg/kg/minute is a safe and effective therapy for critical CHD.