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Neurocognitive impairment and quality of life are two important long-term challenges for patients with complex CHD. The impact of re-interventions during adolescence and young adulthood on neurocognition and quality of life is not well understood.
In this prospective longitudinal multi-institutional study, patients 13–30 years old with severe CHD referred for surgical or transcatheter pulmonary valve replacement were enrolled. Clinical characteristics were collected, and executive function and quality of life were assessed prior to the planned pulmonary re-intervention. These results were compared to normative data and were compared between treatment strategies.
Among 68 patients enrolled from 2016 to 2020, a nearly equal proportion were referred for surgical and transcatheter pulmonary valve replacement (53% versus 47%). Tetralogy of Fallot was the most common diagnosis (59%) and pulmonary re-intervention indications included stenosis (25%), insufficiency (40%), and mixed disease (35%). There were no substantial differences between patients referred for surgical and transcatheter therapy. Executive functioning deficits were evident in 19–31% of patients and quality of life was universally lower compared to normative sample data. However, measures of executive function and quality of life did not differ between the surgical and transcatheter patients.
In this patient group, impairments in neurocognitive function and quality of life are common and can be significant. Given similar baseline characteristics, comparing changes in neurocognitive outcomes and quality of life after surgical versus transcatheter pulmonary valve replacement will offer unique insights into how treatment approaches impact these important long-term patient outcomes.
Three-dimensional rotational angiography has become a mainstay of congenital cardiac catheterisation. Augmented reality is an exciting and emerging technology that allows for interactive visualisation of 3D holographic images in the user’s environment. This case series reports on the feasibility of intraprocedural augmented reality visualisation of 3D rotational angiography in five patients with CHD.
Complete thrombosis of a pulmonary artery interposition graft in an adolescent with complex repaired CHD was treated successfully with a combination of a novel mechanical thrombectomy system, stent implantation, and thrombolysis. This thrombectomy system used a flexible catheter with a built-in mechanism to attenuate blood loss, while providing effective recanalisation of a foreign graft.
Multicentre research databases can provide insights into healthcare processes to improve outcomes and make practice recommendations for novel approaches. Effective audits can establish a framework for reporting research efforts, ensuring accurate reporting, and spearheading quality improvement. Although a variety of data auditing models and standards exist, barriers to effective auditing including costs, regulatory requirements, travel, and design complexity must be considered.
Materials and methods:
The Congenital Cardiac Research Collaborative conducted a virtual data training initiative and remote source data verification audit on a retrospective multicentre dataset. CCRC investigators across nine institutions were trained to extract and enter data into a robust dataset on patients with tetralogy of Fallot who required neonatal intervention. Centres provided de-identified source files for a randomised 10% patient sample audit. Key auditing variables, discrepancy types, and severity levels were analysed across two study groups, primary repair and staged repair.
Of the total 572 study patients, data from 58 patients (31 staged repairs and 27 primary repairs) were source data verified. Amongst the 1790 variables audited, 45 discrepancies were discovered, resulting in an overall accuracy rate of 97.5%. High accuracy rates were consistent across all CCRC institutions ranging from 94.6% to 99.4% and were reported for both minor (1.5%) and major discrepancies type classifications (1.1%).
Findings indicate that implementing a virtual multicentre training initiative and remote source data verification audit can identify data quality concerns and produce a reliable, high-quality dataset. Remote auditing capacity is especially important during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Assess the acute and short-term haemodynamic impact of transcatheter pulmonary valve implantation on left ventricular systolic and diastolic function stratified by pre-transcatheter pulmonary valve implantation physiology.
Transcatheter pulmonary valve implantation is a widely available option to treat residual or recurrent pulmonary stenosis and pulmonary insufficiency. Transcatheter pulmonary valve implantation acutely increases pulmonary artery size and diastolic pressure in patients with pulmonary insufficiency and acute pulmonary edema has been reported after transcatheter pulmonary valve implantation, possibly related to acute left ventricular volume loading. However, the impact of transcatheter pulmonary valve implantation on left ventricular diastolic function has not been established.
Patients who underwent transcatheter pulmonary valve implantation from 2010 to 2017 at our centre were grouped by indication for transcatheter pulmonary valve implantation as pulmonary stenosis, pulmonary insufficiency, or mixed disease. Separate analysis was performed on those who underwent transcatheter pulmonary valve implantation for pulmonary stenosis versus pulmonary insufficiency or mixed disease. Intracardiac haemodynamics immediately before and after transcatheter pulmonary valve implantation and echocardiographic assessment of left ventricular systolic and diastolic function at baseline, 1-day post transcatheter pulmonary valve implantation, and 1-year post transcatheter pulmonary valve implantation were compared between groups.
In 102 patients who underwent transcatheter pulmonary valve implantation, the indication was pulmonary stenosis in 29 (28%), pulmonary insufficiency in 28 (29%), and mixed disease in 44 (43%). There were no significant differences in left ventricular systolic or diastolic function between groups at baseline, immediately after transcatheter pulmonary valve implantation, or 1-year post implantation. The mean pulmonary artery wedge pressure increased equally across groups.
While patients with pulmonary insufficiency likely have acute left ventricular volume loading following transcatheter pulmonary valve implantation, this does not appear to be haemodynamically significant as transcatheter pulmonary valve implantation was not associated with measurable changes in left ventricular systolic or diastolic function acutely or 1-year post implantation.
The Single Ventricle Reconstruction Trial randomised neonates with hypoplastic left heart syndrome to a shunt strategy but otherwise retained standard of care. We aimed to describe centre-level practice variation at Fontan completion.
Centre-level data are reported as median or median frequency across all centres and range of medians or frequencies across centres. Classification and regression tree analysis assessed the association of centre-level factors with length of stay and percentage of patients with prolonged pleural effusion (>7 days).
The median Fontan age (14 centres, 320 patients) was 3.1 years (range from 1.7 to 3.9), and the weight-for-age z-score was −0.56 (−1.35 + 0.44). Extra-cardiac Fontans were performed in 79% (4–100%) of patients at the 13 centres performing this procedure; lateral tunnels were performed in 32% (3–100%) at the 11 centres performing it. Deep hypothermic circulatory arrest (nine centres) ranged from 6 to 100%. Major complications occurred in 17% (7–33%). The length of stay was 9.5 days (9–12); 15% (6–33%) had prolonged pleural effusion. Centres with fewer patients (<6%) with prolonged pleural effusion and fewer (<41%) complications had a shorter length of stay (<10 days; sensitivity 1.0; specificity 0.71; area under the curve 0.96). Avoiding deep hypothermic circulatory arrest and higher weight-for-age z-score were associated with a lower percentage of patients with prolonged effusions (<9.5%; sensitivity 1.0; specificity = 0.86; area under the curve 0.98).
Fontan perioperative practices varied widely among study centres. Strategies to decrease the duration of pleural effusion and minimise complications may decrease the length of stay. Further research regarding deep hypothermic circulatory arrest is needed to understand its association with prolonged pleural effusion.
Elevated left ventricular end diastolic pressure is a risk factor for ventricular arrhythmias in patients with tetralogy of Fallot. The objective of this retrospective study was to identify echocardiographic measures associated with left ventricular end diastolic pressure >12 mmHg in this population. Repaired tetralogy of Fallot patients age ≥13 years, who underwent a left heart catheterisation within 7 days of having an echocardiogram were evaluated. Univariate comparison was made in echocardiographic and clinical variables between patients with left ventricular end diastolic pressure >12 versus ≤12 mmHg. Ninety-four patients (54% male) with a median age of 24.6 years were included. Thirty-four (36%) had left ventricular end diastolic pressure >12 mmHg. Patients with left ventricular end diastolic pressure >12mmHg were older (median 32.9 versus 24.0 years, p = 0.02), more likely to have a history of an aortopulmonary shunt (62% versus 38%, p = 0.03), and have a diagnosis of hypertension (24% versus 7%, p = 0.03) compared to those with left ventricular end diastolic pressure ≤12 mmHg. There were no significant differences in mitral valve E/A ratio, annular e’ velocity, or E/e’ ratio between patients with left ventricular end diastolic pressure >12 versus ≤12 mmHg. Patients with left ventricular end diastolic pressure >12mmHg had larger left atrial area (mean 17.7 versus 14.0 cm2, p = 0.03) and larger left atrium anterior–posterior diameter (mean 36.0 versus 30.6 mm, p = 0.004). In conclusion, typical echocardiographic measures of left ventricular diastolic dysfunction may not be reliable in tetralogy of Fallot patients. Prospective studies with the use of novel echocardiographic measures are needed.
A 6-month-old infant with Shone’s complex was found to have left main coronary artery atresia during evaluation for recurrent subaortic stenosis with depressed left ventricular function. The ventricular function improved after surgical subaortic resection without coronary re-vascularisation. This case demonstrates first the rare finding of left main coronary artery atresia and second that coronary re-vascularisation is not necessarily required in all cases of left main coronary artery atresia.
Transcatheter pulmonary valve implantation is usually performed from a femoral venous – transfemoral – approach, but this may not be the optimal vascular access option in some patients. This study aimed to determine which group of patients might benefit from an internal jugular – transjugular – approach for transcatheter pulmonary valve implantation.
This multicentre retrospective study included all patients who underwent attempted transcatheter pulmonary valve placement in the right ventricular outflow tract between April 2010 and June 2012 at two large congenital heart centres. Patients were divided into two groups based on venous access site – transfemoral or transjugular. Patient characteristics, procedural outcomes, and complications were compared between groups.
Of 81 patients meeting the inclusion criteria (median age 16.4 years), the transjugular approach was used in 14 patients (17%). The transjugular group was younger (median age 11.9 versus 17.3 years), had lower body surface area (mean 1.33 versus 1.61 m2), more often had moderate or greater tricuspid regurgitation (29% versus 7%), and had a higher ratio of right ventricle-to-systemic systolic pressure (mean 82.4 versus 64.7). Patients requiring a transjugular approach after an unsuccessful transfemoral approach had longer fluoroscopic times and procedure duration.
The transjugular approach for transcatheter pulmonary valve implantation is used infrequently but is more often used in younger and smaller patients. Technical limitations from a transfemoral approach may be anticipated if there is moderate or greater tricuspid regurgitation or higher right ventricular pressures. In these patients, a transjugular approach should be considered early.
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