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The Eighth World Congress of Pediatric Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery (WCPCCS) will be held in Washington DC, USA, from Saturday, 26 August, 2023 to Friday, 1 September, 2023, inclusive. The Eighth World Congress of Pediatric Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery will be the largest and most comprehensive scientific meeting dedicated to paediatric and congenital cardiac care ever held. At the time of the writing of this manuscript, The Eighth World Congress of Pediatric Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery has 5,037 registered attendees (and rising) from 117 countries, a truly diverse and international faculty of over 925 individuals from 89 countries, over 2,000 individual abstracts and poster presenters from 101 countries, and a Best Abstract Competition featuring 153 oral abstracts from 34 countries. For information about the Eighth World Congress of Pediatric Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery, please visit the following website: [www.WCPCCS2023.org]. The purpose of this manuscript is to review the activities related to global health and advocacy that will occur at the Eighth World Congress of Pediatric Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery.
Acknowledging the need for urgent change, we wanted to take the opportunity to bring a common voice to the global community and issue the Washington DC WCPCCS Call to Action on Addressing the Global Burden of Pediatric and Congenital Heart Diseases. A copy of this Washington DC WCPCCS Call to Action is provided in the Appendix of this manuscript. This Washington DC WCPCCS Call to Action is an initiative aimed at increasing awareness of the global burden, promoting the development of sustainable care systems, and improving access to high quality and equitable healthcare for children with heart disease as well as adults with congenital heart disease worldwide.
Despite enormous strides in our field with respect to patient care, there has been surprisingly limited dialogue on how to train and educate the next generation of congenital cardiologists. This paper reviews the current status of training and evolving developments in medical education pertinent to congenital cardiology. The adoption of competency-based medical education has been lauded as a robust framework for contemporary medical education over the last two decades. However, inconsistencies in frameworks across different jurisdictions remain, and bridging gaps between competency frameworks and clinical practice has proved challenging. Entrustable professional activities have been proposed as a solution, but integration of such activities into busy clinical cardiology practices will present its own challenges. Consequently, this pivot towards a more structured approach to medical education necessitates the widespread availability of appropriately trained medical educationalists, a development that will better inform curriculum development, instructional design, and assessment. Differentiation between superficial and deep learning, the vital role of rich formative feedback and coaching, should guide our trainees to become self-regulated learners, capable of critical reasoning yet retaining an awareness of uncertainty and ambiguity. Furthermore, disruptive innovations such as “technology enhanced learning” may be leveraged to improve education, especially for trainees from low- and middle-income countries. Each of these initiatives will require resources, widespread advocacy and raised awareness, and publication of supporting data, and so it is especially gratifying that Cardiology in the Young has fostered a progressive approach, agreeing to publish one or two articles in each journal issue in this domain.
Rheumatic fever, an immune sequela of untreated streptococcal infections, is an important contributor to global cardiovascular disease. The goal of this study was to describe trends, characteristics, and cost burden of children discharged from hospitals with a diagnosis of RF from 2000 to 2012 within the United States.
Using the Kids’ Inpatient Database, we examined characteristics of children discharged from hospitals with the diagnosis of rheumatic fever over time including: overall hospitalisation rates, age, gender, race/ethnicity, regional differences, payer type, length of stay, and charges.
The estimated national cumulative incidence of rheumatic fever in the United States between 2000 and 2012 was 0.61 cases per 100,000 children. The median age was 10 years, with hospitalisations significantly more common among children aged 6–11 years. Rheumatic fever hospitalisations among Asian/Pacific Islanders were significantly over-represented. The proportion of rheumatic fever hospitalisations was greater in the Northeast and less in the South, although the highest number of rheumatic fever admissions occurred in the South. Expected payer type was more likely to be private insurance, and the median total hospital charges (adjusted for inflation to 2012 dollars) were $16,000 (interquartile range: $8900–31,200). Median length of stay was 3 days, and the case fatality ratio for RF in the United States was 0.4%.
Rheumatic fever persists in the United States with an overall downwards trend between 2003 and 2012. Rheumatic fever admissions varied considerably based on age group, region, and origin.
Infective endocarditis is a microbial infection of the endothelial surface of the heart, predominantly the heart valves, that is associated with high mortality and morbidity. Few contemporary data exist regarding affected children in our context.
Aims and Objectives:
We aimed to describe the profile and treatment outcomes of infant and childhood endocarditis at our facilities.
This is a retrospective analysis of infants and children with endocarditis at two public sector hospitals in the Western Cape Province of South Africa over a 5-year period. Patients with “definite” and “possible” endocarditis according to Modified Duke Criteria were included in the review.
Forty-nine patients were identified for inclusion; 29 had congenital heart disease as a predisposing condition; 64% of patients met “definite” and 36% “possible” criteria. The in-hospital mortality rate was 20%; 53% of patients underwent surgery with a post-operative mortality rate of 7.7%. The median interval from diagnosis to surgery was 20 days (interquartile range, 9–47 days). Valve replacement occurred in 28% and valve repair in 58%. There was a significant reduction in valvular dysfunction in patients undergoing surgery and only a marginal improvement in patients treated medically. Overall, 43% of patients had some degree of residual valvular dysfunction.
Endocarditis is a serious disease with a high in-hospital mortality and presents challenges in making an accurate diagnosis. Despite a significant reduction in valvular dysfunction, a portion of patients had residual valvular dysfunction. Early surgery is associated with a lower mortality rate, but a higher rate of valve replacement compared with delayed surgery.
Congenital and acquired heart diseases are highly prevalent in developing countries despite limited specialised care. Namibia established a paediatric cardiac service in 2009 with significant human resource and infrastructural constraints. Therefore, patients are referred for cardiac interventions to South Africa.
To describe the diagnoses, clinical characteristics, interventions, post-operative morbidity and mortality, and follow-up of patients referred for care.
Demographics, diagnoses, interventions, intra- and post-operative morbidity and mortality, as well as longitudinal follow-up data of all patients referred to South Africa, were recorded and analysed.
The total cohort constituted 193 patients of which 179 (93%) had CHD and 7% acquired heart disease. The majority of patients (78.8%) travelled more than 400 km to Windhoek before transfer. There were 28 percutaneous interventions. Palliative and definitive surgery was performed in 27 and 129 patients, respectively. Out of 156 patients, 80 (51.3%) had post-operative complications, of which 15 (9.6%) were a direct complication of surgery. Surgical mortality was 8/156 (5.1%, 95% confidence interval 2.2–9.8), with a 30-day mortality of 3.2%. Prolonged ICU stay was associated with a 5% increased risk of death with hazard ratio 1.05, 95% confidence interval 1.02–1.08, p=0.001. Follow-up was complete in 151 (78%) patients for more than 7 years.
Despite the challenges associated with a cardiac programme for referring patients seeking intervention in a neighbouring country and the adverse characteristics of multiple lesions and complexity associated with late presentation, we report good surgical and interventional outcomes. Our goal remains to develop a comprehensive sustainable cardiac service in Namibia.
Echocardiography is the diagnostic test of choice for latent rheumatic heart disease. The utility of echocardiography for large-scale screening is limited by high cost, complex diagnostic protocols, and time to acquire multiple images. We evaluated the performance of a brief hand-held echocardiography protocol and computer-assisted auscultation in detecting latent rheumatic heart disease with or without pathological murmur.
A total of 27 asymptomatic patients with latent rheumatic heart disease based on the World Heart Federation criteria and 66 healthy controls were examined by standard cardiac auscultation to detect pathological murmur. Hand-held echocardiography using a focussed protocol that utilises one view – that is, the parasternal long-axis view – and one measurement – that is, mitral regurgitant jet – and a computer-assisted auscultation utilising an automated decision tool were performed on all patients.
The sensitivity and specificity of computer-assisted auscultation in latent rheumatic heart disease were 4% (95% CI 1.0–20.4%) and 93.7% (95% CI 84.5–98.3%), respectively. The sensitivity and specificity of the focussed hand-held echocardiography protocol for definite rheumatic heart disease were 92.3% (95% CI 63.9–99.8%) and 100%, respectively. The test reliability of hand-held echocardiography was 98.7% for definite and 94.7% for borderline disease, and the adjusted diagnostic odds ratios were 1041 and 263.9 for definite and borderline disease, respectively.
Computer-assisted auscultation has extremely low sensitivity but high specificity for pathological murmur in latent rheumatic heart disease. Focussed hand-held echocardiography has fair sensitivity but high specificity and diagnostic utility for definite or borderline rheumatic heart disease in asymptomatic patients.