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Coronary artery aneurysms are well-described in Kawasaki disease and the Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children and are graded using Z scores. Three Z score systems (Boston, Montreal, and DC) are widely used in North America. The recent Pediatric Heart Network Z score system is derived from the largest diverse sample to-date. The impact of Z score system on the rate of coronary dilation and management was assessed in a large real-world dataset.
Using a combined dataset of patients with acute Kawasaki disease from the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Kawasaki Disease Study, coronary Z scores and the rate of coronary lesions (Z ≥ 2.0) and aneurysms (Z ≥ 2.5) were determined using four Z score systems. Agreement among Z scores and the effect on Kawasaki management were assessed.
Of 333 patients analysed, 136 were from Montefiore and 197 from the Kawasaki Disease Study. Age, sex, body surface area, and rate of coronary lesions did not differ between the samples. Among the four Z score systems, the rate of acute coronary lesions varied from 24 to 55%. The mean left anterior descending Z scores from Pediatric Heart Network and Boston had a large uniform discrepancy of 1.3. Differences in Z scores among the four systems may change anticoagulation management in up to 22% of a Kawasaki population.
Choice of Z score system alone may impact Kawasaki disease diagnosis and management. Further research is necessary to determine the ideal coronary Z score system.
Preliminary animal and human data suggest that angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibition has a role in pulmonary vascular remodelling. We sought to assess the effect of ACEi versus placebo on pulmonary artery pressure and transpulmonary gradient amongst infants undergoing single-ventricle palliation.
Materials and methods:
Using the publicly available Pediatric Heart Network Infant Single-Ventricle trial dataset, we compared mean PA pressure at pre-superior cavopulmonary connection catheterisation (primary outcome), transpulmonary gradient, pulmonary-to-systemic flow ratio, and post-SCPC oxygen saturation (secondary outcomes) in infants receiving enalapril versus placebo.
A total of 179 infants underwent pre-SCPC catheterisation, of which 85 (47%) received enalapril. There was no difference between the enalapril and placebo group in the primary and the secondary outcomes. Mean PA pressure in the enalapril group was 13.1 ± 2.9 compared to 13.7 ± 3.4 mmHg in the placebo group. The transpulmonary gradient was 6.7 ± 2.5 versus 6.9 ± 3.2 mmHg in the enalapril and placebo groups, respectively. The pulmonary-to-systemic flow ratio was 1.1 ± 0.5 in the enalapril group versus 1.0 ± 0.5 in the placebo group and the post-SCPC saturation was 83.1 ± 5.0% in the enalapril group versus 82.2 ± 5.3% in the placebo group. In the pre-specified subgroup analyses comparing enalapril and placebo according to ventricular morphology and shunt type, there was no difference in the primary and secondary outcomes.
ACEi did not impact mean pulmonary artery pressure or transpulmonary gradient amongst infants with single-ventricle physiology prior to SCPC palliation.
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.
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.
Identify trends of enrolment and key challenges when recruiting infants with complex cardiac diseases into a multi-centre, randomised, placebo-controlled drug trial and assess the impact of efforts to share successful strategies on enrolment of subjects.
Rates of screening, eligibility, consent, and randomisation were determined for three consecutive periods of time. Sites collectively addressed barriers to recruitment and shared successful strategies resulting in the Inventory of Best Recruiting Practices. Study teams detailed institutional practices of recruitment in post-trial surveys that were compared with strategies of enrolment initially proposed in the Inventory.
The number of screened patients increased by 30% between the Initial Period and the Intermediate Period (p = 0.007), whereas eligibility decreased slightly by 7%. Of those eligible for entry into the study, the rate of consent increased by 42% (p = 0.025) and randomisation increased by 71% (p = 0.10). During the Final Period, after launch of a competing trial, fewer patients were screened (−14%, p = 0.06), consented (−19%, p = 0.12), and randomised (−34%, p = 0.012). Practices of recruitment in the post-trial survey closely mirrored those in the Inventory.
Early identification and sharing of best strategies of recruitment among all recruiting sites can be effective in increasing recruitment of critically ill infants with congenital cardiac disease and possibly other populations. Strategies of recruitment should focus on those that build relationships with families and create partnerships with the medical providers who care for them. Competing studies pose challenges for enrolment in trials, but fostering trusting relationships with families can result in successful enrolment into multiple studies.
Obstruction of the reconstructed aortic arch, or the neoaortic arch, is now known to be an important factor increasing mortality after the Norwood operation for hypoplastic left heart syndrome. Transcatheter balloon angioplasty has been shown to provide effective relief of both native aortic coarctation and obstructions of the aortic arch occurring subsequent to therapeutic intervention. We sought to determine the outcomes of balloon angioplasty used as an initial treatment for obstruction of the neoaortic arch occurring after the Norwood operation. We gathered the characteristics of 58 patients with such obstruction from 8 institutions, noting procedural factors and outcomes of initial balloon dilation. Obstruction occurred at a median interval of 4 months, with a range from 1.5 months to 6.3 years, after a Norwood operation. Ventricular dysfunction was present before dilation in 13 patients. Mean peak to peak systolic pressure gradients were acutely reduced from 31±20 mm Hg to 6±9 mmHg (p<0.001), with outcome subjectively judged to be successful in 89%- Three patients with pre-existing ventricular dysfunction died within 48 hours of dilation. There were 10 additional deaths during the period of followup, with Kaplan Meier estimates of survival after intervention of 87% at 1 month, 77% at 12 months, and 72% after 15 months. In addition, 9 patients required re-intervention during the period of follow-up, with Kaplan Meier estimates of freedom from re-intervention after dilation of 87% at 6 months, 78% at 12 months and 74% after 18 months. Although transcatheter dilation of neoaortic arch obstructions after Norwood operation is successful, there is a high risk of re-intervention and ongoing mortality in this subgroup of patients. Close follow-up is recommended.
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.
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