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Derived from the National Pediatric Cardiology Quality Improvement Collaborative registry, the NEONATE risk score predicted freedom from interstage mortality or heart transplant for patients with single ventricle CHD and aortic arch hypoplasia discharged home following Stage 1 palliation.
We sought to validate the score in an external, modern cohort.
This was a retrospective cohort analysis of single ventricle CHD and aortic arch hypoplasia patients enrolled in the National Pediatric Cardiology Quality Improvement Collaborative Phase II registry from 2016 to 2020, who were discharged home after Stage 1 palliation. Points were allocated per the NEONATE score (Norwood type—Norwood/Blalock–Taussig shunt: 3, Hybrid: 12; extracorporeal membrane oxygenation post-op: 9, Opiates at discharge: 6, No Digoxin at discharge: 9, Arch Obstruction on discharge echo: 9, Tricuspid regurgitation ≥ moderate on discharge echo: 12; Extra oxygen plus ≥ moderate tricuspid regurgitation: 28). The composite primary endpoint was interstage mortality or heart transplant.
In total, 1026 patients met inclusion criteria; 61 (6%) met the primary outcome. Interstage mortality occurred in 44 (4.3%) patients at a median of 129 (IQR 62,195) days, and 17 (1.7%) were referred for heart transplant at a 167 (114,199) days of life. The median NEONATE score was 0(0,9) in those who survived to Stage 2 palliation compared to 9(0,15) in those who experienced interstage mortality or heart transplant (p < 0.001). Applying a NEONATE score cut-off of 17 points that separated patients into low- and high-risk groups in the learning cohort provided 91% specificity, negative predictive value of 95%, and overall accuracy of 87% (85.4–89.5%).
In a modern cohort of patients with single ventricle CHD and aortic arch hypoplasia, the NEONATE score remains useful at discharge post-Stage 1 palliation to predict freedom from interstage mortality or heart transplant.
The Fontan Outcomes Network was created to improve outcomes for children and adults with single ventricle CHD living with Fontan circulation. The network mission is to optimise longevity and quality of life by improving physical health, neurodevelopmental outcomes, resilience, and emotional health for these individuals and their families. This manuscript describes the systematic design of this new learning health network, including the initial steps in development of a national, lifespan registry, and pilot testing of data collection forms at 10 congenital heart centres.
Optimising short- and long-term outcomes for children and patients with CHD depends on continued scientific discovery and translation to clinical improvements in a coordinated effort by multiple stakeholders. Several challenges remain for clinicians, researchers, administrators, patients, and families seeking continuous scientific and clinical advancements in the field. We describe a new integrated research and improvement network – Cardiac Networks United – that seeks to build upon the experience and success achieved to-date to create a new infrastructure for research and quality improvement that will serve the needs of the paediatric and congenital heart community in the future. Existing gaps in data integration and barriers to improvement are described, along with the mission and vision, organisational structure, and early objectives of Cardiac Networks United. Finally, representatives of key stakeholder groups – heart centre executives, research leaders, learning health system experts, and parent advocates – offer their perspectives on the need for this new collaborative effort.
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