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The Residual Lesion Score is a novel tool for assessing the achievement of surgical objectives in congenital heart surgery based on widely available clinical and echocardiographic characteristics. This article describes the methodology used to develop the Residual Lesion Score from the previously developed Technical Performance Score for five common congenital cardiac procedures using the RAND Delphi methodology.
A panel of 11 experts from the field of paediatric and congenital cardiology and cardiac surgery, 2 co-chairs, and a consultant were assembled to review and comment on validity and feasibility of measuring the sub-components of intraoperative and discharge Residual Lesion Score for five congenital cardiac procedures. In the first email round, the panel reviewed and commented on the Residual Lesion Score and provided validity and feasibility scores for sub-components of each of the five procedures. In the second in-person round, email comments and scores were reviewed and the Residual Lesion Score revised. The modified Residual Lesion Score was scored independently by each panellist for validity and feasibility and used to develop the “final” Residual Lesion Score.
The Residual Lesion Score sub-components with a median validity score of ≥7 and median feasibility score of ≥4 that were scored without disagreement and with low absolute deviation from the median were included in the “final” Residual Lesion Score.
Using the RAND Delphi methodology, we were able to develop Residual Lesion Score modules for five important congenital cardiac procedures for the Pediatric Heart Network’s Residual Lesion Score study.
The Single Ventricle Reconstruction Trial randomised neonates with hypoplastic left heart syndrome to a shunt strategy but otherwise retained standard of care. We aimed to describe centre-level practice variation at Fontan completion.
Centre-level data are reported as median or median frequency across all centres and range of medians or frequencies across centres. Classification and regression tree analysis assessed the association of centre-level factors with length of stay and percentage of patients with prolonged pleural effusion (>7 days).
The median Fontan age (14 centres, 320 patients) was 3.1 years (range from 1.7 to 3.9), and the weight-for-age z-score was −0.56 (−1.35 + 0.44). Extra-cardiac Fontans were performed in 79% (4–100%) of patients at the 13 centres performing this procedure; lateral tunnels were performed in 32% (3–100%) at the 11 centres performing it. Deep hypothermic circulatory arrest (nine centres) ranged from 6 to 100%. Major complications occurred in 17% (7–33%). The length of stay was 9.5 days (9–12); 15% (6–33%) had prolonged pleural effusion. Centres with fewer patients (<6%) with prolonged pleural effusion and fewer (<41%) complications had a shorter length of stay (<10 days; sensitivity 1.0; specificity 0.71; area under the curve 0.96). Avoiding deep hypothermic circulatory arrest and higher weight-for-age z-score were associated with a lower percentage of patients with prolonged effusions (<9.5%; sensitivity 1.0; specificity = 0.86; area under the curve 0.98).
Fontan perioperative practices varied widely among study centres. Strategies to decrease the duration of pleural effusion and minimise complications may decrease the length of stay. Further research regarding deep hypothermic circulatory arrest is needed to understand its association with prolonged pleural effusion.
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.
The Single Ventricle Reconstruction trial randomised neonates with hypoplastic left heart syndrome to a systemic-to-pulmonary-artery shunt strategy. Patients received care according to usual institutional practice. We analysed practice variation at the Stage II surgery to attempt to identify areas for decreased variation and process control improvement.
Prospectively collected data were available in the Single Ventricle Reconstruction public-use database. Practice variation across 14 centres was described for 397 patients who underwent Stage II surgery. Data are centre-level specific and reported as interquartile ranges across all centres, unless otherwise specified.
Preoperative Stage II median age and weight across centres were 5.4 months (interquartile range 4.9–5.7) and 5.7 kg (5.5–6.1), with 70% performed electively. Most patients had pre-Stage-II cardiac catheterisation (98.5–100%). Digoxin was used by 11/14 centres in 25% of patients (23–31%), and 81% had some oral feeds (68–84%). The majority of the centres (86%) performed a bidirectional Glenn versus hemi-Fontan. Median cardiopulmonary bypass time was 96 minutes (75–113). In aggregate, 26% of patients had deep hypothermic circulatory arrest >10 minutes. In 13/14 centres using deep hypothermic circulatory arrest, 12.5% of patients exceeded 10 minutes (8–32%). Seven centres extubated 5% of patients (2–40) in the operating room. Postoperatively, ICU length of stay was 4.8 days (4.0–5.3) and total length of stay was 7.5 days (6–10).
In the Single Ventricle Reconstruction Trial, practice varied widely among centres for nearly all perioperative factors surrounding Stage II. Further analysis may facilitate establishing best practices by identifying the impact of practice variation.
A few studies have evaluated the impact of clinical trial results on practice in paediatric cardiology. The Infant Single Ventricle (ISV) Trial results published in 2010 did not support routine use of the angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor enalapril in infants with single-ventricle physiology. We sought to assess the influence of these findings on clinical practice.
A web-based survey was distributed via e-mail to over 2000 paediatric cardiologists, intensivists, cardiothoracic surgeons, and cardiac advance practice nurses during three distribution periods. The results were analysed using McNemar’s test for paired data and Fisher’s exact test.
The response rate was 31.5% (69% cardiologists and 65% with >10 years of experience). Among respondents familiar with trial results, 74% reported current practice consistent with trial findings versus 48% before trial publication (p<0.001); 19% used angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor in this population “almost always” versus 36% in the past (p<0.001), and 72% reported a change in management or improved confidence in treatment decisions involving this therapy based on the trial results. Respondents familiar with trial results (78%) were marginally more likely to practise consistent with the trial results than those unfamiliar (74 versus 67%, p=0.16). Among all respondents, 28% reported less frequent use of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor over the last 3 years.
Within 5 years of publication, the majority of respondents was familiar with the Infant Single Ventricle Trial results and reported less frequent use of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor in single-ventricle infants; however, 28% reported not adjusting their clinical decisions based on the trial’s findings.
Objective: We sought to determine the prevalence of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in a population of children who underwent neonatal heart surgery involving repair of the aortic arch for Norwood Stage I, interrupted aortic arch, and combined repair of aortic coarctation with ventricular septal defect. Methods: Children between the ages of 5 and 16 were surveyed using the ADHD-IV and the Child Heath Questionnaire-50. Classification as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder was defined for this study as either a parent-reported diagnosis of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder or ADHD-IV inattention score of ⩾93 percentile. Results: Of the 134 surveys, 57 (43%) were returned completed. A total of 25 (44%) children either had a diagnosis of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and/or ADHD-IV inattention score ⩾93 percentile. Eleven of the 13 (85%) children with interrupted aortic arch, 3 of the 7 (42.9%) children with combined coarctation/ventricular septal defect repair, and 9 of the 33 (27.3%) children with hypoplastic left-heart syndrome were classified as having attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Only 7 of the 25 (28%) children received medical treatment for this condition. Quality of life indicators in the Child Heath Questionnaire-50 Questionnaire were highly correlated with the ADHD-IV scores. Conclusion: The risks for the development of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder are multifactorial but are significantly increased in this post-surgical population. This study revealed a low treatment rate for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and a significant impact on the quality of life in these children.
Purpose: The aim of this study was to compare associations between generic versus disease-specific functional health status assessments and patient and clinical characteristics for patients with severe congenital heart disease. Methods: This was a cross-sectional observational study involving 325 single ventricle patients, aged 10–18 years, after Fontan procedure. Enrolled patients underwent a medical history review, laboratory testing, and assessment of the functional health status by completion of the generic Child Report Child Health Questionnaire and the disease-specific Congenital Heart Adolescent and Teenage questionnaire. Correlated conceptually equivalent domains from both questionnaires were identified and their associations with patient and clinical variables were compared. Results: From the generic assessment, patients perceived marginally lower physical functioning (p = 0.05) but greater freedom from bodily pain compared with a normal population (p < 0.001). The equivalent physical functioning/limitations domain of the generic instrument, compared with the disease-specific instrument, had similar associations (higher multi-variable model R2) with medical history variables (R2 = 0.14 versus R2 = 0.12, respectively) and stronger associations with exercise testing variables (R2 = 0.22 versus R2 = 0.06). Similarly, the corresponding freedom from bodily pain/symptoms domains from both questionnaires showed a greater association for the generic instrument with medical history variables (R2 = 0.15 versus R2 = 0.09, respectively) and non-cardiac conditions (R2 = 0.13 versus R2 = 0.06). The associations of each questionnaire with echocardiographic results, cardiac magnetic resonance imaging results, and serum brain natriuretic peptide levels were uniformly weak (R2 range <0.01 to 0.04). Conclusions: Assessment of the physical functional health status using generic and disease-specific instruments yields few differences with regard to associations between conceptually similar domains and patient and clinical characteristics for adolescents after Fontan procedure.
A superior cavopulmonary connection is commonly performed before the Fontan procedure in patients with a functionally univentricular heart. Data are limited regarding associations between a prior superior cavopulmonary connection and functional and ventricular performance late after the Fontan procedure.
We compared characteristics of those with and without prior superior cavopulmonary connection among 546 subjects enrolled in the Pediatric Heart Network Fontan Cross-Sectional Study. We further compared different superior cavopulmonary connection techniques: bidirectional cavopulmonary anastomosis (n equals 229), bilateral bidirectional cavopulmonary anastomosis (n equals 39), and hemi-Fontan (n equals 114).
A prior superior cavopulmonary connection was performed in 408 subjects (75%); the proportion differed by year of Fontan surgery and centre (p-value less than 0.0001 for each). The average age at Fontan was similar, 3.5 years in those with superior cavopulmonary connection versus 3.2 years in those without (p-value equals 0.4). The type of superior cavopulmonary connection varied by site (p-value less than 0.001) and was related to the type of Fontan procedure. Exercise performance, echocardiographic variables, and predominant rhythm did not differ by superior cavopulmonary connection status or among superior cavopulmonary connection types. Using a test of interaction, findings did not vary according to an underlying diagnosis of hypoplastic left heart syndrome.
After controlling for subject and era factors, most long-term outcomes in subjects with a prior superior cavopulmonary connection did not differ substantially from those without this procedure. The type of superior cavopulmonary connection varied significantly by centre, but late outcomes were similar.
Despite improvements in outcomes after completion of the Fontan circulation, long-term functional state varies. We sought to identify pre- and postoperative characteristics associated with overall function.
Methods and Results
We analyzed data from 476 survivors with the Fontan circulation enrolled in the Pediatric Heart Network Fontan Cross-sectional Study. Mean age at creation of the Fontan circulation was 3.4 plus or minus 2.1 years, with a range from 0.7 to 17.5 years, and time since completion was 8.7 plus or minus 3.4 years, the range being from 1.1 to 17.3 years. We calculated a functional score for the survivors by averaging the percentile ranks of ventricular ejection fraction, maximal consumption of oxygen, the physical summary score for the Child Health Questionnaire, and a function of brain natriuretic peptide. The mean calculated score was 49.5 plus or minus 17.3, with a range from 3 to 87. After adjustment for time since completion of the circulation, we found that a lower score, and hence worse functional state, was associated with: right ventricular morphology (p less than 0.001), higher ventricular end-diastolic pressure (p equals 0.003) and lower saturations of oxygen (p equals 0.047) prior to completion of the Fontan circulation, lower income for the caregiver (p equals 0.003), and, in subjects without a prior superior cavopulmonary anastomosis, arrhythmias after completion of the circulation (p equals 0.003). The model explained almost one-fifth (18%) of the variation in the calculated scores. The score was not associated with surgical centre, sex, age, weight, fenestration, or the period of stay in hospital after completion of the Fontan circuit. A validation model, using 71 subjects randomly excluded from initial analysis, weakly correlated (R equals 0.17, p equals 0.16) with the score calculated from the dataset.
Right ventricular morphology, higher ventricular end-diastolic pressure and lower saturations of oxygen prior to completion of the Fontan circuit, lower income for the provider of care, and arrhythmias after creation of the circuit, are all associated with a worse functional state. Unmeasured factors also influence outcomes.
Children born with heterotaxy syndromes have poorer outcomes compared with children born with comparable cardiac lesions requiring similar surgical palliation. Heterotaxy has been reported as a separate risk factor for mortality and increased morbidity in a series of Fontan operations reported from single centres. Little is known, however, about the functional state of surviving patients with heterotaxy following a Fontan operation.
In the multicentric cross-sectional study carried out by the Pediatric Heart Network of 546 survivors of the Fontan procedure, the patients, aged from 6 to 18 years, underwent evaluation by echocardiography, exercise testing, electrocardiography, magnetic resonance imaging, and functional health status questionnaires compiled by the patients and their parents. Heterotaxy was identified in 42 patients (8%). Medical and patient characteristics were compared between those with heterotaxy and the remaining 504 patients who did not have heterotaxy.
Patients with heterotaxy had their Fontan procedure performed at a later age, with a median of 3.9 years versus 2.8 years (p = 0.001) and had volume-unloading surgery performed later, at a median age of 1.4 versus 0.9 years (p = 0.008). These patients had significantly different ventricular and atrioventricular valvar morphology, as well as a higher incidence of systemic and pulmonary venous abnormalities. They had a higher incidence of prior surgery to the pulmonary veins, at 21 versus 0.4%. The type of Fontan procedure was different, but no difference was detected in length of stay in hospital, or the number of postoperative complications. Sinus rhythm was less common, at 44 versus 71%, (p = 0.002), and history of atrial arrhythmias more common, at 19 versus 8%, (p = 0.018) in those with heterotaxy. Echocardiography revealed a greater degree atrioventricular valvar regurgitation, lower indexed stroke volume, and greater Tei index. Exercise performance, levels of brain natriuretic peptide in the serum, and summary and domain scores from health status questionnaires, were not different from those not having heterotaxy.
The study illustrates a profile of characteristics, medical history, functional health state, and markers of ventricular performance in patients with heterotaxy after the Fontan procedure. Despite obvious anatomic differences, and some differences in echocardiography and heart rhythm, there were no important differences in exercise performance or functional health state between these patients and other survivors of the Fontan procedure.
How best to analyse and describe the features of the situation commonly known as “visceral heterotaxy” remains controversial. Much of the disagreement devolves on how to deal with the concept of isomerism. In the opinion of some, the concept of bilateral right-sidedness and bilateral left-sidedness, while useful in helping to remember which abnormalities are likely to occur in asplenia or polysplenia, should not be granted the status of a specific “situs”, since there are numerous examples of exceptions to these patterns. On the other hand, those who favour the concept of isomerism point out that, when describing only the heart, and taking the structure of the atrial appendages as the starting point for analysis, basing this on the extent of the pectinate muscles relative to the atrioventricular junctions, then the only possible arrangements for the appendages are the usual one, its mirror-image, and the two situations in which appendages of comparable morphology are found on both sides of the heart, these being the arrangements of right or left isomerism. It is certainly the case that the arrangement of the organs is not always in harmony with the arrangement of the atrial appendages, but those circumstances, in which there is disharmony, can readily be described by paying specific attention to each series of organs. On this basis, in this review, we describe the approach to heterotaxy, and isomerism of the atrial appendages, in terms of the genetic background, the diagnosis, and outcomes after cardiac surgery. Attention is given to the various diagnostic modalities, including fetal and postnatal echocardiography, recent tomographic and magnetic resonance imaging techniques, and the time-honoured approach using angiography.
Introduction: A recent modification to the Norwood procedure involving a shunt placed directly from the right ventricle to the pulmonary arteries may improve postoperative haemodynamics. Concerns remain, however, about the potential problems produced by the required ventriculotomy. Methods: We compared 76 patients with hypoplastic left heart syndrome who underwent the Norwood procedure, 35 receiving a modified Blalock-Taussig shunt and the remaining 41 a shunt placed directly from the right ventricle to the pulmonary arteries. We reviewed their subsequent progress through the second stage of palliation. A single observer graded right ventricular function, and the severity of tricuspid regurgitation, based on blinded review of the most recent echocardiograms prior to the second stage of palliation. Results: At the time of catheterization prior to the second stage, patients with a shunt placed from the right ventricle to the pulmonary arteries, rather than a modified Blalock-Taussig shunt, had higher arterial diastolic blood pressure, at 44 versus 40 millimetres of mercury, p equal to 0.02, lower ventricular end diastolic pressures, at 8 versus 11 millimetres of mercury, p equal to 0.0002, and larger pulmonary arteries as judged using the Nakata index, at 270 versus 188 millimetres squared per metres squared, p equal to 0.009. There was no difference in qualitative ventricular systolic function or tricuspid regurgitation between groups. No differences were found between groups during the hospitalization following the second stage of palliation. A trend towards improved survival to the second stage was seen following the construction of a shunt from the right ventricle to the pulmonary arteries. Conclusions: Construction of a shunt from the right ventricle to the pulmonary arteries is associated with lower right ventricular end diastolic pressures, larger pulmonary arterial size, and higher systemic arterial diastolic pressures. No apparent deleterious effects of the right ventriculotomy were observed in terms of qualitative ventricular systolic function or tricuspid regurgitation.
While echocardiography has previously been used to differentiate between patency and complete occlusion of aortopulmonary shunts, the echocardiographic diagnosis of partial obstruction of a shunt has not been reported. We describe a unique color flow Doppler finding that quickly and accurately diagnosed three cases of partial distal obstruction of aortopulmonary shunts.
Objectives: Our study evaluates hospital survival following prenatal identification of candidates for the Norwood procedure, and the impact of prenatal diagnosis on survival, preoperative stability, and postoperative morbidity. Methods: We reviewed records of all patients who were identified prenatally as candidates for the Norwood procedure, and compared them to all postnatally diagnosed patients who underwent the Norwood procedure between August 1995 and May 2002. Results: Of the 98 patients studied, 45 (46%) were diagnosed prenatally. Of these, 35 underwent the Norwood procedure, 29 (83%) of who survived. Thus, 29 of 45 (64%) patients survived from prenatal diagnosis to discharge following the Norwood procedure. Of the 53 postnatally diagnosed patients who underwent the Norwood procedure, 42 (79%) survived. Prenatal diagnosis was not associated with improvement in survival, preoperative stability, or postoperative morbidity. By multivariate analysis, ascending aortic diameter equal to or greater than 2 mm (p = 0.01), and gestational age 36 weeks or greater (p = 0.01) independently predicted survival. Based on this, patients were stratified into groups at low risk, consisting of 69 patients, and at high risk, consisting of 19 patients. Prenatal diagnosis was unassociated with improved survival in either group. Results were unchanged when the analysis was restricted to patients with hypoplasia of the left heart. Conclusion: From the time of prenatal diagnosis, 64% of patients survived to discharge following the Norwood procedure. Prenatal diagnosis did not affect preoperative stability, survival or postoperative morbidity. This remained the case after stratifying patients by risk, or restricting analysis to patients with hypoplasia of the left heart. Ascending aortic diameter and gestational age independently predicted survival.
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