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Palivizumab is the standard immunoprophylaxis against serious disease due to respiratory syncytial virus infection. Current evidence-based prophylaxis guidelines may not address certain children with CHD within specific high-risk groups or clinical/management settings.
An international steering committee of clinicians with expertise in paediatric heart disease identified key questions concerning palivizumab administration; in collaboration with an additional international expert faculty, evidence-based recommendations were formulated using a quasi-Delphi consensus methodology.
Palivizumab prophylaxis was recommended for children with the following conditions: <2 years with unoperated haemodynamically significant CHD, who are cyanotic, who have pulmonary hypertension, or symptomatic airway abnormalities; <1 year with cardiomyopathies requiring treatment; in the 1st year of life with surgically operated CHD with haemodynamically significant residual problems or aged 1–2 years up to 6 months postoperatively; and on heart transplant waiting lists or in their 1st year after heart transplant. Unanimous consensus was not reached for use of immunoprophylaxis in children with asymptomatic CHD and other co-morbid factors such as arrhythmias, Down syndrome, or immunodeficiency, or during a nosocomial outbreak. Challenges to effective immunoprophylaxis included the following: multidisciplinary variations in identifying candidates with CHD and prophylaxis compliance; limited awareness of severe disease risks/burden; and limited knowledge of respiratory syncytial virus seasonal patterns in subtropical/tropical regions.
Evidence-based immunoprophylaxis recommendations were formulated for subgroups of children with CHD, but more data are needed to guide use in tropical/subtropical countries and in children with certain co-morbidities.
We investigated the catheterization and angiographic findings of 26 patients with Williams‘ syndrome to evaluate the natural course of supravalvar aortic stenosis and peripheral pulmonary arterial stenosis. The severity of the stenosis was correlated with age and body surface area in terms of the pulmonary arterial index, right ventricular systolic pressure, sinutubular ratio(ratio of measured to mean normal diameter of sinutubular junction), and systolic pressure gradient across the sinutubular junction. In patients with pulmonary arterial stenosis (n=20), right ventricular systolic pressure tended to decrease, and pulmonary arterial index increased, with increase in age and body surface area. Between the groups with and without pulmonary arterial stenosis, there was significant difference in age (mean 4.70 vs. 9.87, p = 0.019), body surface area (0.62 vs. 1.16, p = 0.002), pulmonary arterial index (152 vs. 317, p=0.002) and right ventricular systolic pressure (73.9 vs. 33.0, p=0.006). As all patients showed similar diameters at the sinutubular junction regardless of age and body size, sinutubular ratio decreased with increases in age and body surface area. The group with abnormal coronary arteries (n = 7) had smaller sinutubular ratio (0.46 vs. 0.61, p=0.021) and higher pressure gradients between the left ventricle and the aorta (67.6 vs. 42.2, p=0.023) than did the group with normal coronary arteries. Stenosis of a coronary artery, or a branch of the aortic arch, was observed only in three patients with diffuse aortic stenosis.
Our results suggest that, with time, peripheral pulmonary arterial stenosis tends to improve, and supravalvar aortic stenosis to progress. Failure of growth of the sinutubular junction might be responsible for the progression of the aortic lesion. Progression of the aortic lesion may be associated with involvement of the coronary arteries.
We studied 52 children in order to assess the prevalence, natural history, and electrophysiologic effects of cardiac rhabdomyoma in tuberous sclerosis. Their ages ranged from one day to 12 years (median age 1.33 year). The tumors in the heart were found in 22 patients through cross-sectional echocardiography. The overall prevalence of cardiac rhabdomyoma was 42%. The prevalence of cardiac tumors in patients first seen in infancy was 77%, and that in patients over one year of age was 31%. Those with cardiac tumors diagnosed in infancy had more tumors per person than did the patients diagnosed after infancy, and the tumors were smaller in the patients diagnosed over one year of age. Follow-up cross-sectional echocardiography showed that almost all tumors showed spontaneous regression. Complete regression occurred more commonly in younger patients, and in those with smaller tumors. About 70% of patients with cardiac tumors had either normal findings or infrequent premature contractions on 24hour Holter monitorings. The rest of the patients with cardiac tumors showed either frequent premature contractions, atrioventricular block, or atrial tachycardia, but antiarrhythmic medication was rarely required. Cross-sectional echocardiography, therefore, seems to be the best diagnostic tool for screening cardiac rhabdomyomas in patients with tuberous sclerosis. The tumors may be managed more conservatively in view of their high rate of spontaneous regression and rather rare association with symptomatic arrhythmias.
For a diffusion barrier against Cu, tantalum nitride (TaN) films have been successfully deposited by both conventional thermal atomic layer deposition (ALD) and plasma assisted atomic layer deposition (PAALD), using pentakis (ethylmethlyamino) tantalum (PEMAT) and ammonia (NH3) as precursors. The growth rate of PAALD TaN at substrate temperature 250° was slightly higher than that of ALD TaN (0.80 Å/cycle for PAALD and 0.75 Å/cycle for ALD). Density of TaN films deposited by PAALD was as high as 11.0 g/cm3, considerably higher compared to the value of 8.3 g/cm3 obtained by ALD. The N: Ta ratio for ALD TaN was 44: 37 in composition and the film contained approximately 8∼10 atomic % carbon and 11 atomic % oxygen impurities. On the other hand, the ratio for PAALD TaN layers was 47: 44 and the respective carbon and oxygen contents of TaN layers decreased to 3 atomic % and 4 atomic %. The stability of 10 nm-thick TaN films as a Cu diffusion barrier was tested through thermal annealing for 30 minutes in N2 ambient and characterized by XRD, which proves the PAALD deposited TaN film to maintain better barrier properties against Cu below 800°.
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