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Babies with CHDs are a particularly vulnerable population with significant mortality in their 1st year. Although most deaths occur in the hospital within the early postoperative period, around one-fifth of postoperative deaths in the 1st year of life may occur after hospital discharge in infants who have undergone apparently successful cardiac surgery.
To systematically review the published literature and identify risk factors for adverse outcomes, specifically deaths and unplanned re-admissions, following hospital discharge after infant surgery for life-threatening CHDs.
A systematic search was conducted in MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, Cochrane Library, Web of Knowledge, and PsycINFO electronic databases, supplemented by manual searching of conference abstracts.
A total of 15 studies were eligible for inclusion. Almost exclusively, studies were conducted in single US centres and focussed on children with complex single ventricle diagnoses. A wide range of risk factors were evaluated, and those more frequently identified as having a significant association with higher mortality or unplanned re-admission risk were non-Caucasian ethnicity, lower socio-economic status, co-morbid conditions, age at surgery, operative complexity and procedure type, and post-operative feeding difficulties.
Studies investigating risk factors for adverse outcomes post-discharge following diverse congenital heart operations in infants are lacking. Further research is needed to systematically identify higher risk groups, and to develop interventions targeted at supporting the most vulnerable infants within an integrated primary and secondary care pathway.
We determined the relationship between aortic arch anatomy in tetralogy of Fallot with pulmonary stenosis and chromosomal or genetic abnormality, by performing analysis of 257 consecutive patients undergoing surgical repair from January, 2003 to March, 2011. Chromosomal or genetic abnormality was identified in 49 of the 257 (19%) patients. These included trisomy 21 (n = 14); chromosome 22q11.2 deletion (n = 16); other chromosomal abnormalities (n = 9); CHARGE (n = 2); Pierre Robin (n = 2); and Kabuki, Alagille, Holt–Oram, Kaufman McKusick, Goldenhar, and PHACE (n = 1 each). Aortic anatomy was classified as left arch with normal branching, right arch with mirror image branching, left arch with aberrant right subclavian artery, or right arch with aberrant left subclavian artery. Associated syndromes occurred in 33 of 203 (16%) patients with left arch and normal branching (odds ratio 1); three of 36 (8%) patients with right arch and mirror image branching (odds ratio 0.4, 95% confidence interval 0.1–1.6); seven of eight (88%) patients with left arch and aberrant right subclavian artery (odds ratio 36, 95% confidence interval 4–302); and six of 10 (60%) patients with right arch and aberrant left subclavian artery (odds ratio 8, 95% confidence interval 2–26). Syndromes were present in 13 of 18 (72%) patients with either right or left aberrant subclavian artery (odds ratio 15, 95% confidence interval 4–45). Syndromes in patients with an aberrant subclavian artery included trisomy 21 (n = 4); chromosome 22q11.2 deletion (n = 5); and Holt–Oram, PHACE, CHARGE, and chromosome 18p deletion (n = 1 each). Aberrant right or left subclavian artery in tetralogy of Fallot with pulmonary stenosis is associated with an increased incidence of chromosomal or genetic abnormality, whereas right aortic arch with mirror image branching is not. The assessment of aortic arch anatomy at prenatal diagnosis can assist counselling.
Patients with repaired tetralogy of Fallot have good long-term survival but less is known about the subjectively assessed quality of life or objectively measured functional status of those who have not required subsequent pulmonary valve replacement. We assessed these parameters in a group of children and adults free from pulmonary valve replacement after tetralogy of Fallot repair.
Methods and results
A random sample of 50 subjects – 16 children and 34 adults, aged 4.1–56.7 years – who had undergone tetralogy of Fallot repair and were free from subsequent pulmonary valve replacement underwent cardiopulmonary exercise testing and completed standardised questionnaires assessing health-related quality of life and resilience. Patients were generally asymptomatic (median New York Heart Association class = I). Exercise capacity was within two standard deviations of normal for most children and adults (mean z VO2max: 0.20 ± 1.5; mean z VE/VCO2: −0.9 ± 1.3). Children reported a total health-related quality of life score similar to healthy norms (78 ± 10 versus 84 ± 1, p = 0.73). Adult survivors also reported quality of life scores comparable to healthy norms. Resilience was highly correlated with all domains of health-related quality of life (r = 0.713, p < 0.0001).
Patients who have undergone tetralogy of Fallot repair in childhood and have not required pulmonary valve replacement have a good long-term health-related quality of life. The finding that patients with greater resilience had better health-related quality of life suggests that it may be beneficial to implement interventions to foster resilience.
To categorise records according to primary cardiac diagnosis in the United Kingdom Central Cardiac Audit Database in order to add this information to a risk adjustment model for paediatric cardiac surgery.
Codes from the International Paediatric Congenital Cardiac Code were mapped to recognisable primary cardiac diagnosis groupings, allocated using a hierarchy and less refined diagnosis groups, based on the number of functional ventricles and presence of aortic obstruction.
A National Clinical Audit Database.
Children undergoing cardiac interventions: the proportions for each diagnosis scheme are presented for 13,551 first patient surgical episodes since 2004.
In Scheme 1, the most prevalent diagnoses nationally were ventricular septal defect (13%), patent ductus arteriosus (10.4%), and tetralogy of Fallot (9.5%). In Scheme 2, the prevalence of a biventricular heart without aortic obstruction was 64.2% and with aortic obstruction was 14.1%; the prevalence of a functionally univentricular heart without aortic obstruction was 4.3% and with aortic obstruction was 4.7%; the prevalence of unknown (ambiguous) number of ventricles was 8.4%; and the prevalence of acquired heart disease only was 2.2%. Diagnostic groups added to procedural information: of the 17% of all operations classed as “not a specific procedure”, 97.1% had a diagnosis identified in Scheme 1 and 97.2% in Scheme 2.
Diagnostic information adds to surgical procedural data when the complexity of case mix is analysed in a national database. These diagnostic categorisation schemes may be used for future investigation of the frequency of conditions and evaluation of long-term outcome over a series of procedures.
Objectives: Congenital heart defects (CHD) are an important cause of death and morbidity in early childhood, but the effectiveness of alternative newborn screening strategies in preventing the collapse or death—before diagnosis—of infants with treatable but life-threatening defects is uncertain. We assessed their effectiveness and efficiency to inform policy and research priorities.
Methods: We compared the effectiveness of clinical examination alone and clinical examination with either pulse oximetry or screening echocardiography in making a timely diagnosis of life-threatening CHD or in diagnosing clinically significant CHD. We contrasted their cost-effectiveness, using a decision-analytic model based on 100,000 live births, and assessed future research priorities using value of information analysis.
Results: Clinical examination alone, pulse oximetry, and screening echocardiography achieved 34.0, 70.6, and 71.3 timely diagnoses per 100,000 live births, respectively. This finding represents an additional cost per additional timely diagnosis of £4,894 and £4,496,666 for pulse oximetry and for screening echocardiography. The equivalent costs for clinically significant CHD are £1,489 and £36,013, respectively. Key determinants of cost-effectiveness are detection rates and screening test costs. The false-positive rate is very high with screening echocardiography (5.4 percent), but lower with pulse oximetry (1.3 percent) or clinical examination alone (.5 percent).
Conclusions: Adding pulse oximetry to clinical examination is likely to be a cost-effective newborn screening strategy for CHD, but further research is required before this policy can be recommended. Screening echocardiography is unlikely to be cost-effective, unless the detection of all clinically significant CHD is considered beneficial and a 5 percent false-positive rate acceptable.
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