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We reviewed the recent literature for echocardiographic assessment of mitral valve abnormalities in children. A literature search was performed within the National Library of Medicine using the keywords “mitral regurgitation and/or stenosis, children.” The search was refined by adding the keywords “echocardiographic definition, classification, and evaluation.” Thirty-one studies were finally included. Significant advances in echocardiographic imaging of mitral valve defects, mainly due to the implementation of three-dimensional technology, contribute to a better understanding of the underlying anatomy. However, heterogeneity between classification systems of mitral valve disease severity is a serious problem. For regurgitant lesions, there is only very limited evidence from small studies that support the adoption of quantitative/semi-quantitative indexes commonly employed in adults. Despite the lack of evidence base, qualitative evaluation of regurgitation severity is often employed. For stenotic lesions, no clear categorisation based on trans-valvular echocardiography-derived “gradients” has been consistently applied to define mild, moderate, or severe obstruction across different paediatric age ranges. Quantitative parameters such as valve area have also been poorly validated in children. Adult recommendations are frequently applied without validation for the paediatric age. In conclusion, significant advances in the anatomical evaluation of mitral valve diseases have been made, thanks to three-dimensional echocardiography; however, limitations remain in the quantitative/semi-quantitative estimation of disease severity, both with respect to valvular regurgitation and stenosis. Because adult echocardiographic recommendations should not be simply translated to the paediatric age, more specific paediatric guidelines and standards for the assessment of mitral valve diseases are needed.
Left ventricular non-compaction is an architectural abnormality of the myocardium, associated with heart failure, systemic thromboembolism, and arrhythmia. We sought to assess the prevalence of left ventricular non-compaction in patients with single ventricle heart disease and its effects on ventricular function.
Cardiac MRI of 93 patients with single ventricle heart disease (mean age 24 ± 8 years; 55% male) from three tertiary congenital centres was retrospectively reviewed; 65 of these had left ventricular morphology and are the subject of this report. The presence of left ventricular non-compaction was defined as having a non-compacted:compacted (NC:C) myocardial thickness ratio >2.3:1. The distribution of left ventricular non-compaction, ventricular volumes, and function was correlated with clinical data.
The prevalence of left ventricular non-compaction was 37% (24 of 65 patients) with a mean of 4 ± 2 affected segments. The distribution was apical in 100%, mid-ventricular in 29%, and basal in 17% of patients. Patients with left ventricular non-compaction had significantly higher end-diastolic (128 ± 44 versus 104 ± 46 mL/m2, p = 0.047) and end-systolic left ventricular volumes (74 ± 35 versus 56 ± 35 mL/m2, p = 0.039) with lower left ventricular ejection fraction (44 ± 11 versus 50 ± 9%, p = 0.039) compared to those with normal compaction. The number of segments involved did not correlate with ventricular function (p = 0.71).
Left ventricular non-compaction is frequently observed in patients with left ventricle-type univentricular hearts, with predominantly apical and mid-ventricular involvement. The presence of non-compaction is associated with increased indexed end-diastolic volumes and impaired systolic function.
The risk of endocarditis varies with CHD complexity and the presence of prosthetic valves. The purpose of the study was therefore to describe incidence and outcomes of prosthetic valve endocarditis in adults with repair tetralogy of Fallot.
Retrospective review of adult tetralogy of Fallot patients who underwent prosthetic valve implantation, 1990–2017. We defined prosthetic valve endocarditis-related complications as prosthetic valve dysfunction, perivalvular extension of infection such abscess/aneurysm/fistula, heart block, pulmonary/systemic embolic events, recurrent endocarditis, and death due to sepsis.
A total of 338 patients (age: 37 ± 15 years) received 352 prosthetic valves (pulmonary [n = 308, 88%], tricuspid [n = 13, 4%], mitral [n = 9, 3%], and aortic position [n = 22, 6%]). The annual incidence of prosthetic valve endocarditis was 0.4%. There were 12 prosthetic valve endocarditis-related complications in six patients, and these complications were prosthetic valve dysfunction (n = 4), systemic/pulmonary embolic events (n = 2), heart block (n = 1), aortic root abscess (n = 1), recurrent endocarditis (n = 2), and death due to sepsis (n = 1). Three (50%) patients required surgery at 2 days, 6 weeks, and 23 weeks from the time of prosthetic valve endocarditis diagnosis. Altogether three of the six (50%) patients died, and one of these deaths was due to sepsis.
The incidence, complication rate, and outcomes of prosthetic valve endocarditis in tetralogy of Fallot patients underscore some of the risks of having a prosthetic valve. It is important to educate the patients on the need for early presentation if they develop systemic symptoms, have a high index of suspicion for prosthetic valve endocarditis, and adopt a multi-disciplinary care approach in this high-risk population.
Treatment of the aneurysms comprising the aortic arch is challenging. Surgical reconstruction usually requires aortic cross-clamping, cardiac arrest, and even deep hypothermia for a bloodless field. In this report, we present our surgical technique providing normothermic ascending aorta, aortic arch, and proximal descending aorta replacement with selective cannulation and perfusion of the whole body.
Short-term survival after paediatric cardiac surgery has improved significantly over the past 20 years and increasing attention is being given to measuring and reducing incidence of morbidities following surgery. How to best use routinely collected data to share morbidity information constitutes a challenge for clinical teams interested in analysing their outcomes for quality improvement. We aimed to develop a tool facilitating this process in the context of monitoring morbidities following paediatric cardiac surgery, as part of a prospective multi-centre research study in the United Kingdom.
We developed a prototype software tool to analyse and present data about morbidities associated with cardiac surgery in children. We used an iterative process, involving engagement with potential users, tool design and implementation, and feedback collection. Graphical data displays were based on the use of icons and graphs designed in collaboration with clinicians.
Our tool enables automatic creation of graphical summaries, displayed as a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation, from a spreadsheet containing patient-level data about specified cardiac surgery morbidities. Data summaries include numbers/percentages of cases with morbidities reported, co-occurrences of different morbidities, and time series of each complication over a time window.
Our work was characterised by a very high level of interaction with potential users of the tool, enabling us to promptly account for feedback and suggestions from clinicians and data managers. The United Kingdom centres involved in the project received the tool positively, and several expressed their interest in using it as part of their routine practice.
To assess the outcomes of congenital tracheal stenosis among children.
Materials and methods:
A retrospective review of all children who underwent surgical repair of congenital tracheal stenosis reviewing charts, operative notes, echocardiograms, CT and MRI data from January 2002 to February 2019.
Twenty-six children underwent surgical treatment for tracheal stenosis. The median age was 3 months (range 0.3–35 months) and the median weight was 4.7 kg (range 2.5–13 kg) at the time of surgical intervention. Stridor was the most common presenting symptom in 17 patients (65% of patients). Twenty-one patients (81%) had concurrent cardiac anomalies, with pulmonary arterial sling being the most common, present in nine patients (34%). Extracorporeal life support was utilised in seven patients (27%) pre-operatively. Laryngeal release was required in 16 patients. In 7 patients an end-to-end anastomosis was performed, in 18 patients slide tracheoplasty, and 1 patient had a double slide tracheoplasty. The median cardiopulmonary bypass time was 106 minutes (range 25–255 minutes). The median cross-clamp time was 30 minutes (range 5–67 minutes). The median post-operative duration of ventilation was 5 days (range 0.5–16 days). The median ICU length of stay was 12.5 days (range 2–60 days). There were three hospital mortalities with 88% survival. One patient only required reintervention with balloon dilation. Twenty-two patients (85%) remained symptom-free on median follow-up at 7.6 years (range 0.2–17 years). Two patients since 2017 had 3D printed tracheas produced from CT imaging to assist surgical planning.
Congenital tracheal stenosis can be managed effectively with excellent outcomes and 3D printed models assist in planning the optimal surgical intervention.
To improve the prenatal diagnosis for anomalous origin of pulmonary artery branches by comparing and analyzing different types of fetal echocardiography features.
Between June 2012 and December 2018, fetal echocardiographic features were analyzed retrospectively from fetuses with a prenatal diagnosis of anomalous origin of pulmonary artery branch. The main points of identification were summarized.
A total of 12 fetuses were diagnosed, including anomalous origin of a pulmonary artery branch from the innominate artery and six cases with unilateral absence of pulmonary artery. The shared characteristic sonographic finding was the lack of confluence at the bifurcation of the main pulmonary artery. The differences between the two conditions are highlighted by the origin of the anomalous vessel. In fetuses with anomalous origin of one pulmonary artery branch, the affected pulmonary artery arose from the posterior wall of the ascending aorta as noted on three vessels and trachea view as well as the long axis of the left ventricular outflow tract. This is in contrast to fetuses with unilateral absence of pulmonary artery, where the origin of affected pulmonary artery arises from the base of the innominate artery via the ipsilateral patent arterial duct as evident on the three vessels and trachea view and the coronal view of innominate (brachiocephalic) artery.
(1) The main similarity is an absence of a confluence at the bifurcation of the main pulmonary artery. (2) The main distinguishing feature is the origin of the anomalous vessel from either the subclavian or directly from the aorta.
Aortopulmonary window is a rare congenital heart lesion. It might be associated with other CHDs, as well as with anomalous origin of the coronary arteries. Anomalous origin of the right coronary artery from the pulmonary artery (ARCAPA) is the most commonly described coronary artery anomaly in association with aortopulmonary window. We are describing a premature neonate who was diagnosed to have aortopulmonary window and ARCAPA immediately after birth, and had a successful operation at the age of 4 months. This report highlights the importance of very careful assessment of the coronary arteries in patients with aortopulmonary window.
Although widely used in cardiology, relation of heart failure biomarkers to cardiac haemodynamics in patients with CHD (and in particular with pulmonary insufficiency undergoing pulmonary valve replacement) remains unclear. We hypothesised that the cardiac function biomarkers N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP), soluble suppressor of tumorigenicity 2, and galectin-3 would have significant associations to right ventricular haemodynamic derangements.
Consecutive patients ( n = 16) undergoing cardiac catheterisation for transcatheter pulmonary valve replacement were studied. NT-proBNP, soluble suppressor of tumorigenicity 2, and galectin-3 levels were measured using a multiplex enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay from a pre-intervention blood sample obtained after sheath placement. Spearman correlation was used to identify significant correlations (p ≤ 0.05) of biomarkers with baseline cardiac haemodynamics. Cardiac MRI data (indexed right ventricular and left ventricular end-diastolic volumes and ejection fraction) prior to device placement were also compared to biomarker levels.
NT-proBNP and soluble suppressor of tumorigenicity 2 were significantly correlated (p < 0.01) with baseline mean right atrial pressure and right ventricular end-diastolic pressure. Only NT-proBNP was significantly correlated with age. Galectin-3 did not have significant associations in this cohort. Cardiac MRI measures of right ventricular function and volume were not correlated to biomarker levels or right heart haemodynamics.
NT-proBNP and soluble suppressor of tumorigenicity 2, biomarkers of myocardial strain, significantly correlated to invasive pressure haemodynamics in transcatheter pulmonary valve replacement patients. Serial determination of soluble suppressor of tumorigenicity 2, as it was not associated with age, may be superior to serial measurement of NT-proBNP as an indicator for timing of pulmonary valve replacement.
Milrinone is a drug frequently used for hemodynamic support in children during critical illness. Although the hemodynamic changes induced by milrinone in children may appear similar to those of adults, the physiologic contributors of these changes remain vastly unknown. A systematic review was conducted to identify studies characterising the hemodynamic effects of milrinone in children during critical illness for hemodynamic support for various medical conditions. Studies were assessed for quality and those of satisfactory quality with pre- and post-operative hemodynamics for each patient were included in the final analyses. Those not limited to children and those not limited to patients with critical illness were excluded from the final analyses. A total of six studies with 791 patients were included in the final analyses. Milrinone infusion doses ranged from 0.3 to 0.75 mcg/kg/minute with the mean infusion dose being 0.5 mcg/kg/minute. Patients whom received milrinone infusion had greater cardiac output, greater left ventricle shortening fraction, lower right ventricular systolic pressure, and lower serum lactate levels. Systolic blood pressure mean arterial blood pressure and arterial oxygen concentration did not significantly change with administration of milrinone. These results were irrespective of milrinone infusion dose, infusion duration, and study size. Milrinone was found to have several beneficial hemodynamic effects in children during critical illness when used at usual clinical doses.
Diaphragm dysfunction following surgery for congenital heart disease is a known complication leading to delays in recovery and increased post-operative morbidity and mortality. We aimed to determine the incidence of and risk factors associated with diaphragm plication in children undergoing cardiac surgery and evaluate timing to repair and effects on hospital cost and length of stay.
We conducted a multi-institutional retrospective observational cohort study. Forty-three hospitals from the Pediatric Health Information System database were included, and a total of 112,110 patients admitted between January 2004 and December 2014 were analysed.
Patients less than 18 years of age who underwent cardiac surgery were included. Risk Adjustment for Congenital Heart Surgery was utilized to determine procedure complexity. The overall incidence of diaphragm dysfunction was 2.2% (n = 2513 out of 112,110). Of these, 24.0% (603 patients) underwent diaphragm plication. Higher complexity cardiac surgery (Risk Adjustment for Congenital Heart Surgery 5–6) and age less than 4 weeks were associated with a higher likelihood of diaphragm plication (p-value < 0.01). Diaphragmatic plication was associated with increased hospital length of stay (p-value < 0.01) and increased medical cost.
Diaphragm plication after surgery for congenital heart disease is associated with longer hospital length of stay and increased cost. There is a strong correlation of prolonged time to plication with increased length of stay and medical cost. The likelihood of plication increases with younger age and higher procedure complexity. Methods to improve early recognition and treatment of diaphragm dysfunction should be developed.
Preoperative mechanical ventilation is associated with morbidity and mortality following CHD surgery, but prior studies lack a comprehensive analysis of how preoperative respiratory support mode and timing affects outcomes.
We retrospectively collected data on children <18 years of age undergoing cardiac surgery at an academic tertiary care medical centre. Using multivariable regression, we examined the association between modes of preoperative respiratory support (nasal cannula, high-flow nasal cannula/noninvasive ventilation, or invasive mechanical ventilation), escalation of preoperative respiratory support, and invasive mechanical ventilation on the day of surgery for three outcomes: operative mortality, postoperative length of stay, and postoperative complications. We repeated our analysis in a subcohort of neonates.
A total of 701 children underwent 800 surgical procedures, and 40% received preoperative respiratory support. Among neonates, 243 patients underwent 253 surgical procedures, and 79% received preoperative respiratory support. In multivariable analysis, all modes of preoperative respiratory support, escalation in preoperative respiratory support, and invasive mechanical ventilation on the day of surgery were associated with increased odds of prolonged length of stay in children and neonates. Children (odds ratio = 3.69, 95% CI 1.2–11.4) and neonates (odds ratio = 8.97, 95% CI 1.31–61.14) on high-flow nasal cannula/noninvasive ventilation had increased odds of operative mortality compared to those on room air.
Preoperative respiratory support is associated with prolonged length of stay and mortality following CHD surgery. Knowing how preoperative respiratory support affects outcomes may help guide surgical timing, inform prognostic conversations, and improve risk stratification models.
Neonates are at high risk of bleeding after open-heart surgery. We sought to determine pre-operative and intra-operative risk factors for increased bleeding after neonatal open-heart surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass.
We conducted a retrospective cohort study of neonates (0–30 days old) who underwent open-heart surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass from January, 2009, to March, 2013. Cardiac diagnosis; demographic and surgical data; and blood products, haemostatic agents, and anti-thrombotic agents administered before, during, and within 24 hours after surgery were abstracted from the electronic health record and anaesthesia records. The outcome of interest was chest tube output (in ml/kg body weight) within 24 hours. Relationships between chest tube output and putative associated factors were evaluated by unadjusted and adjusted linear regression.
The cohort consisted of 107 neonates, of whom 79% had a Society of Thoracic Surgeons-European Association for Cardio-Thoracic Surgery (STAT) Mortality Category of 4 or 5. Median chest tube output was 37 ml/kg (range 9–655 ml/kg). Age, African-American race, and longer durations of surgery and cardiopulmonary bypass each had statistically significant associations with increased chest tube output in unadjusted analyses. In multivariable analysis, African-American race retained an independent, statistically significant association with increased chest tube output; the geometric mean of chest tube output among African-American neonates was 71% higher than that of Caucasians (95% confidence interval, 29–125%; p = 0.001).
Among neonates with CHD undergoing open-heart surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass, African-American race is independently associated with greater chest tube output over the first 24 hours post-operatively.
To explore the mediating effects of adiposity indices in the association between physical activity level and blood pressure in a Nigerian schoolchildren population.
Materials and Methods:
One thousand five hundred and seventeen schoolchildren (714 males and 803 females) from randomly selected primary schools participated. Physical activity level, sum of skinfold thickness at three sites, waist circumference, body mass index, and blood pressure were measured using standardised procedures. The statistical significance of the mediating effects of adiposity indices was determined using Sobel Test.
Some obesity indices mediated the association between physical activity level and systolic blood pressure [males: waist circumference (t = 5.31; p < 0.001), skinfold thickness (t = 3.80; p < 0.001), and waist circumference/height (t = 2.21; p < 0.001); females: body mass index (t = 8.03; p < 0.001), waist circumference (t = 7.80; p < 0.001), and skinfold thickness (t = 5.94; p < 0.001)]. Similarly, some obesity indices mediated the prediction of diastolic blood pressure in females [males: body mass index (t = 1.95; p = 0.05), waist circumference (t = 2.65; p = 0.01), and skinfold thickness (t = 1.97; p = 0.05); females blood pressure: body mass index (t = 6.49; p < 0.001), waist circumference (t = 6.29; p < 0.001), skinfold thickness (t = 2.31; p = 0.02), and waist circumference/height (t = 2.59; p = 0.01)].
The obesity indices that mediate the association between physical activity level and blood pressure vary, and their mediating effects are graded. While waist circumference and skinfold thickness exert the greatest mediating effects on the association in males, body mass index and waist circumference do in females.
Early weight trends after cardiac surgery in infants from low- and middle-income countries where the majority are undernourished have not been defined. We studied the early post-operative weight trends to identify specific factors associated with early weight loss and poor weight gain after discharge following congenital heart surgery in consecutive infants undergoing cardiac surgery at a referral hospital in Southern India.
This was a prospective observational study. Weights of the babies were recorded at different time points during the hospital stay and at 1-month post-discharge. A comprehensive database of pre-operative, operative, and post-operative variables was created and entered into a multivariate logistic regression analysis model to identify factors associated with excessive early weight loss after cardiac surgery, and poor weight gain following hospital discharge.
The study enrolled 192 infants (mean age 110.7 ± 99.9 days; weight z scores − 2.5 ± 1.5). There was a small but significant (p < 0.001) decline in weight in the hospital following surgery (1.6% decline (interquartile range −5.3 to +1.7)); however, there was substantial growth following discharge (26.7% increase (interquartile range 15.3–41.8)). The variables associated with post-operative weight loss were cumulative nil-per-oral duration and cardiopulmonary bypass time, while weight gain following discharge was only associated with age.
Weight loss is almost universal early after congenital heart surgery and is associated with complex surgery and cumulative nil-per-oral duration. After discharge, weight gain is almost universal and not associated with any of the perioperative variables.
Neonatal aortic thrombosis is a rare occurrence but can be life-threatening. Most aortic thrombosis in neonates is related to umbilical artery catheters. A case of a neonate with a spontaneous aortic thrombosis is described here along with a comprehensive review of the literature for cases of neonatal aortic thrombosis not related to any intravascular device or procedure. The aetiologies of these spontaneous thromboses and the relevance of hypercoagulable disorders are discussed. The cases were analysed for odds of death by treatment method adjusted for era. The reference treatment method was thrombolysis and anticoagulation. No other treatment modality had significantly lower odds than the reference. Surgery alone had higher odds for death than the reference, but this may be confounded by severity of case. The management recommendations for clinicians encountering neonates with spontaneous neonatal aortic thrombosis are discussed.
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is an autosomal dominant hereditary disease characterised by left ventricular asymmetry hypertrophy. However, our knowledge of the genetic background in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy cases is limited. Here, we aimed to evaluate pathogenic gene mutations in a family with high-risk hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and analyse the genotype/phenotype relationships in this family.
The proband, her parents, and her niece underwent whole-exome sequencing, and the genotypes of family members were identified using Sanger sequencing. mRNA expression was detected using reverse transcription sequencing. Structural impairments were predicted by homologous modelling. A family survey was conducted for patients with positive results to obtain information on general clinical symptoms, electrocardiography, ambulatory electrocardiography, echocardiography, and 3.0T cardiac magnetic resonance findings. Regular follow-up was performed for up to 6 months.
Five family members, including the proband, carried a cleavage site mutation in the MYBPC3 gene (c.2737+1 (IVS26) G>T), causing exon 26 of the MYBPC3 gene transcript to be skipped and leading to truncation of cardiac myosin-binding protein C. Family survey showed that the earliest onset age was 13 years old, and three people had died suddenly at less than 40 years old. Three pathogenic gene carriers were diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and all showed severe ventricular septal hypertrophy.
The c.2737+1 (IVS26) G>T mutation in the MYBPC3 gene led to exon 26 skipping, thereby affecting the structure and function of cardiac myosin-binding protein C and leading to severe ventricular hypertrophy and sudden death.
Antibody-mediated rejection is a major clinical challenge that limits graft survival. Various modalities of treatment have been reported in small studies in paediatric heart recipients. A novel approach is to use complement-inhibiting agents, such as eculizumab, which inhibits cleavage of C5 to C5a thereby limiting the formation of membrane attack complex and terminal complement-mediated injury of tissue-bound antibodies. This medical modality of treatment has theoretical advantages but the collective experience in its use in the solid organ transplant community remains small. We add to this experience by combining 14 cases from 6 paediatric heart centres in this descriptive study.
Technological advances have led to better patient outcomes and the expansion of clinical services in paediatric cardiology. This expansion creates an ever-growing workload for clinicians, which has led to workflow and staffing issues that need to be addressed. The objective of this study was the development of a novel tool to measure the clinical workload of a paediatric cardiology service in Cape Town, South Africa: The patient encounter index is a tool designed to quantify clinical workload. It is defined as a ratio of the measured duration of clinical work to the total time available for such work. This index was implemented as part of a prospective cross-sectional study design. Clinical workload data were collected over a 10-day period using time-and-motion sampling. Clinicians were contractually expected to spend 50% of their daily workload on patient care. The median patient encounter index for the Western Cape Paediatric Cardiac Service was 0.81 (range 0.19–1.09), reflecting that 81% of total contractual working time was spent on clinical activities. This study describes the development and implementation of a novel tool for clinical workload quantification and describes its application to a busy paediatric cardiology service in Cape Town, South Africa. This tool prospectively quantifies clinical workload which may directly influence patient outcomes. Implementation of this novel tool in the described setting clearly demonstrated the excessive workload of the clinical service and facilitated effective motivation for improved allocation of resources.
Intercoronary communications are a very rare congenital coronary artery anomalies. We report a case of a man who underwent elective coronary angiography that showed a bidirectional direct intercoronary communication between right coronary and left circumflex arteries.