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Body mass index, race/ethnicity, and payer status are associated with operative mortality in congenital heart disease (CHD). Interactions between these predictors and impacts on longer term outcomes are less well understood. We studied the effect of body mass index, race/ethnicity, and payer on 1-year outcomes following elective CHD surgery and tested the degree to which race/ethnicity and payer explained the effects of body mass index. Patients aged 2–25 years who underwent elective CHD surgery at our centre from 2010 to 2017 were included. We assessed 1-year unplanned cardiac re-admissions, re-interventions, and mortality. Step-wise, multivariable logistic regression was performed.
Of the 929 patients, 10.4% were underweight, 14.9% overweight, and 8.5% obese. Non-white race/ethnicity comprised 40.4% and public insurance 29.8%. Only 0.5% died prior to hospital discharge with one additional death in the first post-operative year. Amongst patients with continuous follow-up, unplanned re-admission and re-intervention rates were 14.7% and 12.3%, respectively. In multivariable analyses adjusting for surgical complexity and surgeon, obese, overweight, and underweight patients had higher odds of re-admission than normal-weight patients (OR 1.40, p = 0.026; OR 1.77, p < 0.001; OR 1.44, p = 0.008). Underweight patients had more than twice the odds of re-intervention compared with normal weight (OR 2.12, p < 0.001). These associations persisted after adjusting for race/ethnicity, payer, and surgeon.
Pre-operative obese, overweight, and underweight body mass index were associated with unplanned re-admission and/or re-intervention 1-year following elective CHD surgery, even after accounting for race/ethnicity and payer status. Body mass index may be an important modifiable risk factor prior to CHD surgery.
Tetralogy of Fallot is the most common cyanotic heart defect seen in children beyond infancy. There is considerable variation in surgical management today ranging from differences in timing of complete repair versus initial use of a shunt for palliation, and methods for right ventricular outflow tract reconstruction. This article will examine some of the current surgical management techniques for patients with Tetralogy of Fallot.
Surgery for common arterial trunk has evolved over the past 30 years. Current management involves total repair during the neonatal period with excellent expected results. The presence of truncal valve insufficiency or interrupted aortic arch may increase the surgical risk for morbidity and mortality. Current therapy and management continues to evolve.
Relief of right ventricular outflow tract obstruction in tetralogy of Fallot or similar physiology often results in pulmonary regurgitation. The resultant chronic volume overload can lead to right ventricular dilatation, biventricular dysfunction, heart failure symptoms, arrhythmias, and sudden death. Although pulmonary valve replacement can lead to improvement in functional class and a substantial decrease or normalisation of right ventricular volumes, the optimal timing of pulmonary valve replacement is not well defined. Benefits of pulmonary valve replacement have to be weighed against the risks of this procedure, including subsequent reoperation. This article will review the benefits and risks of pulmonary valve replacement, options for pulmonary valve substitute, and timing of pulmonary valve replacement in patients with chronic pulmonary regurgitation after relief of right ventricular outflow tract obstruction.
Extracorporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation may be defined as the use of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation for the support of patients who do not respond to conventional cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Data from national and international paediatric databases indicate that the use of extracorporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation is increasing. Guidelines from the American Heart Association suggest that any patient with refractory cardiopulmonary resuscitation and potentially reversible causes of cardiac arrest is a candidate for extracorporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation. One possible framework for selection of patients for extracorporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation includes dividing patients on the basis of favourable or unfavourable characteristics. Favourable characteristics include cardiac disease, witnessed event in the intensive care unit, ability to deliver effective cardiopulmonary resuscitation, active patient monitoring present, favourable arterial blood gases, and early institution of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. Unfavourable characteristics potentially include non-cardiac disease, an unwitnessed cardiac arrest, ineffective cardiopulmonary resuscitation, and severely acidotic arterial blood gases. Considering the significant resources and cost involved in the use of extracorporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation, its use needs to be critically examined to improve outcomes, assess neurological recovery and quality of life, and help identify populations and other factors that may help guide in the selection of patients for successful extracorporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
The use of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation in infants and children with cardiac disease who develop refractory cardiogenic shock, cyanosis, or cardiac arrest is increasing. Early mortality in children with cardiac disease who require extracorporeal membrane oxygenation remains an important issue, as only 40% of cannulated patients survive to discharge from the hospital. However, it is encouraging that 90% children who are discharged alive from the hospital after extracorporeal membrane oxygenation are still alive at intermediate-term follow-up. Surviving patients are at risk for long-term dysfunction of multiple organ systems related to their underlying cardiac disease, non-cardiac comorbidities, treatment-related complications, and exposure to extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. Among the most important acute complications related to support with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation is injury to the central nervous system, which may contribute to adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes. All of these factors, in turn, influence quality of life. Many survivors remain medically complex related to their underlying cardiac disease, comorbidities, and sequelae of complications acquired over their lifetime. Neurological morbidity clearly plays an important role in approximately one-third of survivors, with significant deficits in approximately 10%. The limited data about quality of life data that are available for survivors of cardiac extracorporeal membrane oxygenation suggests that approximately 15–30% of survivors have at least moderately decreased quality of life. Overall, published data support the ongoing use of support with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation in children with acute cardiac failure, most of whom would die without it. However, programmatic efforts to improve the selection of patients and the preservation of the function of end organs during extracorporeal membrane oxygenation are clearly needed in order to improve long-term outcomes.
A complication is an event or occurrence that is associated with a disease or a healthcare intervention, is a departure from the desired course of events, and may cause, or be associated with, suboptimal outcome. A complication does not necessarily represent a breech in the standard of care that constitutes medical negligence or medical malpractice. An operative or procedural complication is any complication, regardless of cause, occurring (1) within 30 days after surgery or intervention in or out of the hospital, or (2) after 30 days during the same hospitalization subsequent to the operation or intervention. Operative and procedural complications include both intraoperative/intraprocedural complications and postoperative/postprocedural complications in this time interval.
The MultiSocietal Database Committee for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease has set forth a comprehensive list of complications associated with the treatment of patients with congenital cardiac disease, related to cardiac, pulmonary, renal, haematological, infectious, neurological, gastrointestinal, and endocrinal systems, as well as those related to the management of anaesthesia and perfusion, and the transplantation of thoracic organs. The objective of this manuscript is to examine the definitions of operative morbidity as they relate specifically to the pulmonary system. These specific definitions and terms will be used to track morbidity associated with surgical and transcatheter interventions and other forms of therapy in a common language across many separate databases.
As surgical survival in children with congenital cardiac disease has improved in recent years, focus has necessarily shifted to reducing the morbidity of congenital cardiac malformations and their treatment. A comprehensive list of pulmonary complications is presented. This list is a component of a systems-based compendium of complications that will standardize terminology and thereby allow the study and quantification of morbidity in patients with congenital cardiac malformations. Clinicians caring for patients with congenital cardiac disease will be able to use this list for databases, initiatives to improve quality, reporting of complications, and comparing strategies of treatment.
Professionals working in the arena of health care face a variety of challenges as their careers evolve and develop. In this review, we analyze the role of mentorship, learning curves, and balance in overcoming challenges that all such professionals are likely to encounter. These challenges can exist both in professional and personal life.
As any professional involved in health care matures, complex professional skills must be mastered, and new professional skills must be acquired. These skills are both technical and judgmental. In most circumstances, these skills must be learned. In 2007, despite the continued need for obtaining new knowledge and learning new skills, the professional and public tolerance for a “learning curve” is much less than in previous decades. Mentorship is the key to success in these endeavours. The success of mentorship is two-sided, with responsibilities for both the mentor and the mentee. The benefits of this relationship must be bidirectional. It is the responsibility of both the student and the mentor to assure this bidirectional exchange of benefit. This relationship requires time, patience, dedication, and to some degree selflessness. This mentorship will ultimately be the best tool for mastering complex professional skills and maturing through various learning curves. Professional mentorship also requires that mentors identify and explicitly teach their mentees the relational skills and abilities inherent in learning the management of the triad of self, relationships with others, and professional responsibilities.
Up to two decades ago, a learning curve was tolerated, and even expected, while professionals involved in healthcare developed the techniques that allowed for the treatment of previously untreatable diseases. Outcomes have now improved to the point that this type of learning curve is no longer acceptable to the public. Still, professionals must learn to perform and develop independence and confidence. The responsibility to meet this challenge without a painful learning curve belongs to both the younger professionals, who must progress through the learning curve, and the more mature professionals who must create an appropriate environment for learning.
In addition to mentorship, the detailed tracking of outcomes is an essential tool for mastering any learning curve. It is crucial to utilize a detailed database to track outcomes, to learn, and to protect both yourself and your patients. It is our professional responsibility to engage in self-evaluation, in part employing voluntary sharing of data. For cardiac surgical subspecialties, the databases now existing for The European Association for CardioThoracic Surgery and The Society of Thoracic Surgeons represent the ideal tool for monitoring outcomes. Evolving initiatives in the fields of paediatric cardiology, paediatric critical care, and paediatric cardiac anaesthesia will play similar roles.
A variety of professional and personal challenges must be met by all those working in health care. The acquisition of learned skills, and the use of special tools, will facilitate the process of conquering these challenges. Choosing appropriate role models and mentors can help progression through any learning curve in a controlled and protected fashion. Professional and personal satisfaction are both necessities. Finding the satisfactory balance between work and home life is difficult, but possible with the right tools, organization skills, and support system at work and at home. The concepts of mentorship, learning curves and balance cannot be underappreciated.
Objective: Orthotopic heart transplantation is considered a rescue option for children with failing staged palliation or repair of hypoplastic left heart syndrome. We present our strategy for management, and outcomes, for these complex patients. Methods: We transplanted 68 consecutive children, with diagnoses of hypoplastic left heart syndrome in 31, cardiomyopathy in 20, and post-operative complex congenital heart disease in 17. Of these patients, 9 (13.2%) were neonates, and 46 (67.6%) were infants. Median age was 118.5 days. Operative technique involves bicaval cannulation and anastamoses with continuous low flow bypass, and either short periods of circulatory arrest or continuous low flow antegrade cerebral perfusion for reconstruction of the aortic arch. Initial reperfusion of the donor heart utilizes glutamate and aspartate substrate enriched white blood cell filtered cardioplegia. Immunosuppressive therapy includes induction (pulse steroids, gamma globulin, and polyclonal rabbit antithymocyte globulin) and initial maintenance (calcineurin inhibitor, an anti-proliferative agent, and a weaning steroid protocol). Of the 31 patients with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, 23 underwent primary transplantation, and 8 underwent rescue transplantation from failing staged palliation in seven, or attempted biventricular repair in one. Of the seven patients who had failing staged palliation, three had undergone only the Norwood Stage 1 operation, 2 had undergone a Norwood Stage 1 operation and a Glenn superior cavopulmonary anastomosis and two had undergone a Norwood Stage 1 operation, a Glenn superior cavopulmonary anastomosis, and a completion Fontan operation. Results: The group undergoing primary transplantation was younger (p equals 0.007), weighed less (p equals 0.003), and waited longer for an appropriate donor heart (p equals 0.021) compared to those requiring rescue transplantation. No significant difference exists between the groups with regards to donor heart ischaemic time or post-transplant length of hospital stay. Thirty day survival (p equals 0.156) and overall survival (p equals 0.053) was better in those having primary transplantation, although these differences were not statistically significant when a p value of less than 0.05 is considered to be significant. In those having primary transplantation, no patients had elevated panel reactive antibody greater than 10%. Half of the 8 requiring rescue transplantation had panel reactive antibody greater than 10%, and this subgroup did especially poorly. Conclusion: Cardiac transplantation can offer children with failing staged palliation their only chance of survival. Transplantation, however, carries a high risk in this subgroup, especially in the setting of elevated panel reactive antibody.
After repair of tetralogy of Fallot, many patients present in need of reoperative surgical reconstruction of the right ventricular outflow tract. The predominant physiologic lesion is pulmonary insufficiency, but there may also be varying degrees of obstruction of the right ventricular outflow tract. In the past, it has been felt that patients tolerate pulmonary insufficiency reasonably well. In some patients, however, the long-term effects of pulmonary insufficiency and subsequent right ventricular dilation and dysfunction are associated with poor exercise tolerance and increased incidence of arrhythmias and sudden death.1,2 Numerous studies support replacement of the pulmonary valve as treatment for pulmonary insufficiency in order to improve performance, optimize hemodynamics, and better control arrhythmias.3–10 The indications for reconstruction of the right ventricular outflow tract in this setting, nonetheless, as well as the operative strategy, continue to evolve. There are multiple surgical options for replacement of the pulmonary valve for these patients, including aortic and pulmonary homografts, stented and stentless porcine valves, porcine valved conduits, bovine jugular venous conduits, and even mechanical valves and mechanical valved conduits.11–32 It was a less than ideal experience with these currently available options that stimulated our interest into employing alternative materials and techniques. Favorable experimental and clinical experience with valves made of a polytetrafluoroethylene monoleaflet33–36 encouraged us to consider a new method of reconstruction with this material, using a bifoliate polytetrafluoroethylene valve. In this work, we review our indications for replacement of the pulmonary valve after repair of tetralogy of Fallot, the surgical options available, and our experience reconstructing the right ventricular outflow tract with a new surgically created bifoliate polytetrafluoroethylene valve.
The abilities for both computer technology, and intra-operative video-imaging, are evolving rapidly. The merger of these two sciences can be very beneficial, both to congenital cardiac surgeons in general, and in facilitating the creation of a cardioscopic database in particular.
(1010) GaN wafers grown on (100) face of γ-LiAlO2 were studied using transmission electron microscopy. Despite good lattice matching in this heteroepitaxial system, high densities of planar structural defects in the form of stacking faults on the basal plane and networks of boundaries located on prism planes inclined to the layer/substrate interface were present in these GaN layers. In addition, significant numbers of threading dislocations were observed. High-resolution electron microscopy indicates that stacking faults present on the basal plane in these layers are of low-energy intrinsic I1 type. This is consistent with diffraction contrast experiments.
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