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Children with CHD develop heart failure due to increased pulmonary blood flow, cyanosis, and pulmonary hypertension. The metabolic needs of these children differ from those of healthy children, and malnutrition is common. Protein-losing enteropathy has been reported in 5 to 13% of patients after the Fontan procedure. Serum albumin and total protein levels, which are indicators of the quality of post-operative care, can be useful tools for monitoring and examining the intensive care treatment strategies of these patients. In our retrospective study, the effects of albumin and total protein values, which are two of the markers that give us an idea about diet, nutritional status, and inflammation, on the prognosis of children who underwent the Fontan procedure were investigated.
In our study, 127 patients who underwent Fontan procedure in our clinic between 2012 and 2021 were analysed retrospectively. Of the patients, 52.7% (n = 67) were male and 47.3% (n = 60) were female. The mean age is 5.83 ± 4.63 years. Patients who underwent albumin replacement were not included in the study.
Although the relationship between pre-operative albumin and total protein values and post-operative mortality was not statistically significant, the inverse correlation of post-operative albumin 1st, 2nd, and 3rd-day values and post-operative total protein 1st, 2nd, and 3rd-day values with mortality was found to be statistically significant. In addition, we found that mortality was statistically high in patients whose total protein amount was below 6.65 mg/dl in the early post-operative period.
Albumin and total protein, whose blood levels can vary with diet, can be used as predictors in the early post-operative prognosis of Fontan patients. In addition, when we examined the exitus patients, it was observed that the total protein amount was below 6.65 mg/dl on the post-operative 1st day. Based on this, we think that a diet with high protein content before surgery will help reduce post-operative early mortality.
Subaortic stenosis is a CHD that can lead to left ventricular hypertrophy, heart failure, and aortic valve damage if left untreated. The gold standard treatment for subaortic stenosis is septal myectomy. However, there is no clear consensus on the surgical margins required for adequate muscle resection. In this retrospective study, we reviewed the records of 83 patients who underwent subaortic stenosis surgery between 2012 and 2020 to investigate the effect of early troponin levels on prognosis. We excluded patients with additional cardiac pathologies, hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy, and valvular aortic stenosis.
Troponin levels were recorded in the early post-operative period, and patients were monitored for complications such as ventricular arrhythmia, left ventricular systolic dysfunction, infective endocarditis, and pacemaker implantation. The troponin levels were significantly higher in the patients who had septal myectomy. The degree of myectomy affected the risk of complications in the early post-operative period and recurrence in the later period. However, when the gradient was substantially or completely removed by myectomy, patients experienced significant symptom improvement in the early post-operative period, and their late survival was equivalent to that of healthy individuals of the same age.
Our findings suggest that monitoring troponin levels in patients undergoing septal myectomy may be beneficial in predicting the risk of complications. However, further studies are needed to establish the optimal surgical technique and extent of muscle resection required for subaortic stenosis treatment. Our study adds to the existing knowledge of the benefits and risks associated with septal myectomy as a treatment option for subaortic stenosis.
We investigated the risk of increased nosocomial infections and the associated pathogens in patients who underwent paediatric cardiovascular surgery and were put on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation support. We studied the duration of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation use and other variables that may be associated with increased nosocomial infection risk.
Patients who were treated with an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation in paediatric cardiovascular surgery ICU between 2010 and 2020 were included in this retrospective study. We analysed the site of infection and microbiological profile of infections occurring in these patients according to CDC and National Healthcare Safety Network criteria.
The onset of infection development in patients after extracorporeal membrane oxygenation was found to be median 8 (3–15, 25–75 IQR) days in the whole group, and median 11 (3–16, 25–75 IQR) days in those who developed infection without being put on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. When patients were divided into those with and without infection, duration of ICU was found to be 19 (16–28, IQR 25–75) days in patients with infection vs. 8 (2–16, IQR 25–75; p: <0.001) days in patients without infection. Duration of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation support was found to be 14 (10–25, IQR 25–75) days in patients with infection versus 5 (2–10, IQR 25–75; p: <0.001) days in patients without infection and total hospital stay was 26 (18–33, IQR 25–75) days in patients with infection versus 8 (2–23, IQR 25–75) days in those without infection. A total of 24 patients out of the 70 patients experienced 32 infectious episodes during extracorporeal membrane oxygenation support. Culture-positive infections were detected at a single site in 19 patients, and multiple sites in 5 patients.
We propose that prolonged extracorporeal membrane oxygenation support is associated with an increased risk of infection. Although extracorporeal membrane oxygenation is a life-saving treatment method, prolonged extracorporeal membrane oxygenation may increase the development of infectious complications and the associated mortality and morbidity of the patient.
Pulmonary artery aneurysms are rare. They are characterised by an aneurysmatic dilatation of the pulmonary vascular bed, including the main pulmonary artery or the accompanying pulmonary artery branches. Increases in pulmonary flow and pulmonary artery pressure increase the risk of rupture: when these conditions are detected, surgical intervention is necessary.
This study is a retrospective analysis of 33 patients treated in our paediatric cardiac surgery clinic from 2012 to 2020. Aneurysms and pseudoaneurysms in patients who were patched for right ventricular outflow tract reconstruction and corrected with a conduit were excluded from the study. Seventeen (51.5%) of the patients included in the study were female and 16 (48.5%) were male. The patients were aged between 23 and 61 years (mean 30.66 ± 12.72 years). Graft interpositions were performed in 10 patients (30.3%) and pulmonary artery plications were performed in 23 patients (69.7%) to repair aneurysms. There was no significant difference in mortality between the two groups (p > 0.05).
Pulmonary artery aneurysm interventions are safe, life-saving treatments that prevent fatal complications such as ruptures, but at present there is no clear guidance regarding surgical timing or treatment strategies. Pulmonary artery interventions should be performed in symptomatic patients with dilations ≥5 cm or asymptomatic patients with dilations ≥8 cm; pulmonary artery pressure, right ventricular systolic pressure, and pulmonary artery aneurysm diameter must be considered when planning surgeries, their timing, and making decisions regarding indications. Experienced surgical teams can achieve satisfactory results using one of the following surgical techniques: reduction pulmonary arterioplasty, plication, or graft replacement.
Other markers investigated in this population have gained importance in the diagnosis of the disease since the course of COVID-19 disease is atypical in the paediatric population and PCR may be misleading. The leukocyte profile is one of these biochemical tests. Children did not have lymphopenia in hemogram count, whereas relatively neutropenia and monocytosis were detected, unlike the adult population. The reason why children do not have lymphopenia is thought to be due to the fact that the thymus is more active in the first years of life.
Two-hundred and four patients operated in our paediatric cardiac surgery clinic from 11March, 2020 to 1 April, 2021 were retrospectively examined and 11 patients with preoperative asymptomatic and PCR (−), but with PCR (+) in the post-operative period (patients with incubation period or false PCR negativity) were included in our study. Patients requiring emergency operation and operated from PCR (+) patients in the preoperative period were excluded from the study.
The neutrophil ratio in the lymphocytic series of 7 patients out of 11 patients was slightly below the normal range in the preoperative period, the lymphocyte ratio of 3 patients was slightly above the normal range, and the relative monocyte ratio of 10 patients was slightly above the normal range.
We think that evaluating the leukocyte profile combined with RT-PCR will give more accurate results in the diagnosis of incubation period and false RT-PCR negative patients. In addition, we believe that the algorithms for non-complex paediatric cardiac surgery procedures and timing in the paediatric population with a better course of COVID-19 disease with a positive post-operative course.
It is difficult to predict the complications and prognosis of ECMO, which is gaining widespread use in patients with pediatric surgery. Platelet-to-lymphocyte ratio (PLR) and neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) are emerging inflammatory markers that can be calculated from complete blood count, which is a cheap and easily accessible laboratory analysis. The ratios between cellular elements in peripheral blood have been demonstrated to provide information on inflammation, infection, and immune response.
Sixty-seven patients who needed ECMO application after undergoing pediatric cardiovascular surgery in our clinic, between May 2005 and April 2020, were included in this study. The age of patients varied between 4 days and 17 years with a mean of 30.59 ± 147.26 months.
The relationships between PLR or NLR values and various blood parameters and blood gas results were found to be statistically nonsignificant in our group of pediatric ECMO recipients. Even if the effect of PLR and NLR values on mortality and prognosis is statistically nonsignificant in patients who need ECMO after congenital heart surgery, PLR and NLR are typically elevated in the postoperative period. An increase in these values above a certain threshold may be a statistically significant indicator for the prediction of mortality.
There are few studies in the literature concerning PLR and NLR values in patients with pediatric heart surgery. We consider this study will make way for new studies in the future.
Pulmonary pressure is one of the most important parameters in the postoperative follow-up of patients who have undergone the Glenn procedure. Platelet activation markers, which are inexpensive and easily accessible blood count parameters, have been shown to be associated with the aetiology and pathogenesis of primary pulmonary artery hypertension. We examined the relationship between platelet activation markers and pulmonary pressures in the early postoperative period of patients who underwent the Glenn procedure.
Eighty-five patients who underwent the Glenn procedure in our clinic between January 2011 and March 2020 were included in the study retrospectively. Fifty-one patients were male and 34 were female, and age varied from 4 to 416 months, with a mean of 28.64 ± 51 months.
Patients with increased pulmonary blood flow on palliation before Glenn surgery had higher mean platelet volume values. However, no correlation was found between pulmonary pressures and platelet activation markers in the early postoperative period.
There was not similar study evaluating platelet activation markers in the paediatric age group before and after postoperative Glenn surgery in the literature. Therefore, even if platelet activation markers provide information about the pulmonary bed, they may be misleading due to other reasons that trigger bleeding and inflammatory processes in the early postoperative period.
The most common CHD in the adult patient population is an atrial septal defect due to its asymptomatic nature in early life. However, when diagnosis and treatment are delayed, pulmonary arterial hypertension may develop as a long-term complication, sometimes before adulthood. The presence of PAH adversely affects the results of surgical treatment and may even eliminate the feasibility of surgery in some patients. In such patients who have high pulmonary artery pressure and pulmonary vascular resistance at the margin of inoperability, the response to the acute vasoreactivity test determines the treatment modality.
In our retrospective study, a total of 906 patients who underwent ASD closure between January, 2011 and November, 2020, seven of which had undergone the fenestrated patch procedure after they were identified to have high PAP, but positive AVT test response were included. Short-term follow-up of patients with fenestrated ASD patches revealed decreased pulmonary pressure, regression in NYHA classification, and improvement in symptoms.
The fenestrated patch technique should be kept in mind as an option to expand the surgical spectrum in the treatment of patients with high pulmonary pressures, where complete closure is risky. It appears that the fenestrated patch technique is a safe approach in the management of pulmonary hypertension in patients with ASD who have pulmonary hypertension, according to short- and midterm follow-up findings.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of telemedicine as a way to reduce COVID-19 infections was noted and consequently deregulated. However, the degree of telemedicine regulation varies from country to country, which may alter the widespread use of telemedicine. This study aimed to clarify the telepsychiatry regulations for each collaborating country/region before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We used snowball sampling within a global network of international telepsychiatry experts. Thirty collaborators from 17 different countries/regions responded to a questionnaire on barriers to the use and implementation of telepsychiatric care, including policy factors such as regulations and reimbursement at the end of 2019 and as of May 2020.
Thirteen of 17 regions reported a relaxation of regulations due to the pandemic; consequently, all regions surveyed stated that telepsychiatry was now possible within their public healthcare systems. In some regions, restrictions on prescription medications allowed via telepsychiatry were eased, but in 11 of the 17 regions, there were still restrictions on prescribing medications via telepsychiatry. Lower insurance reimbursement amounts for telepsychiatry consultations v. in-person consultations were reevaluated in four regions, and consequently, in 15 regions telepsychiatry services were reimbursed at the same rate (or higher) than in-person consultations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our results confirm that, due to COVID-19, the majority of countries surveyed are altering telemedicine regulations that had previously restricted the spread of telemedicine. These findings provide information that could guide future policy and regulatory decisions, which facilitate greater scale and spread of telepsychiatry globally.
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