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The present study aims to identify the role of inflammatory markers such as C-reactive protein, interleukin-6, and fractalkine in CHD-associated pulmonary hypertension in children.
This is a prospective review of 37 children with CHD-related pulmonary hypertension, 21 children with congenital heart defects, and 22 healthy children.
Serum C-reactive protein and interleukin-6 levels were significantly higher in the children with CHD-related pulmonary hypertension (respectively, p=0.049 and 0.026). Serum C-reactive protein concentrations correlated negatively with ejection fraction (r=−0.609, p=0.001) and fractional shortening (r=−0.452, p=0.007) in the pulmonary hypertension group. Serum fractalkine concentrations correlated negatively with ejection fraction (r=−0.522, p=0.002) and fractional shortening (r=−0.395, p=0.021) in the children with pulmonary hypertension. Serum interleukin-6 concentrations also correlated negatively with Qs (r=−0.572, p=0.021), positively with Rs (r=0.774, p=0.001), and positively with pulmonary wedge pressure (r=0.796, p=0.006) in the pulmonary hypertension group. A cut-off value of 2.2 IU/L for C-reactive protein was able to predict pulmonary hypertension with 77.5% sensitivity and 77.5% specificity. When the cut-off point for interleukin-6 concentration was 57.5 pg/ml, pulmonary hypertension could be predicted with 80% sensitivity and 75% specificity.
Inflammation is associated with the pathophysiology of pulmonary hypertension. The inflammatory markers C-reactive protein and interleukin-6 may have a role in the clinical evaluation of paediatric pulmonary hypertension related to CHDs.
Tetralogy of Fallot is the most common cyanotic congenital heart disease with decreased pulmonary blood flow. Right-to-left shunt and infundibular pulmonary stenosis in this disease lead to a decrease in arterial O2 saturation. Hypoxia is a strong stimulus for angiogenesis; however, the reason for insufficiency in the pulmonary vascular growth in patients despite chronic arterial hypoxia is still not known. This study was planned considering that the impairment in vascular endothelial growth factor-receptor relationship or the vascular endothelial growth factor-receptor deficiency in the pulmonary vascular bed during development may cause insufficiency of pulmonary vascular growth. A total of 24 patients were grouped as cyanotic – including 13 patients with tetralogy of Fallot – and acyanotic – including 11 patients with left-to-right shunt lesions. During cardiac catheterisation, vascular endothelial growth factor measurements were performed; and oxygen saturations, pressures, and haemoglobin levels were measured. Perioperative lung biopsy for vascular endothelial growth factor receptors was performed in the cyanotic group. Vascular endothelial growth factor of the aorta was higher in the acyanotic group. There was a significant negative correlation between vascular endothelial growth factor levels and aortic O2 saturation in the cyanotic group (p < 0.05). Vascular endothelial growth factor tissue staining was negative in 11 out of 13 (84.6%) patients. KDR/Flk-1 receptor was positive in four out of 13 (30.7%) patients; Flt-1 receptor was positive in six out of 13 (46.1%) patients. Vascular endothelial growth factor values were found to be lower than those of the acyanotic patients in this study. Low serum vascular endothelial growth factor levels of the cyanotic group, in spite of the hypoxia, demonstrated the importance of studying vascular endothelial growth factor tissue levels and vascular endothelial growth factor receptors in these patients.
Woven coronary artery disease is an extremely rare congenital abnormality with unusual findings of branching thin channels and distal reanastomosis. This pathologic finding was reported earlier in a few adult patients. In Kawasaki disease, coronary arterial system is commonly affected, which causes a necessity of cardiac imaging. We report a 9-month-old infant with Kawasaki disease in which left coronary artery aneurysm and woven right coronary artery were coincidentally detected during coronary angiography. After 1 year, coronary angiogram was re-performed and showed no changes in the coronary arteries. During the follow-up period of 4 years, the patient remained asymptomatic. In Kawasaki disease, there is a tendency for thrombus formation and a woven coronary artery can be easily misinterpreted as a thrombus. Woven coronary artery is a benign condition and it should not be confused with a thrombus or a stenosis related finding which needs a medical or surgical intervention.
Mitral valvar prolapse is the most common anomaly of the mitral valve apparatus throughout childhood. Fibrillin is one of the structural components of the elastin-associated microfibrils found in the mitral valve. A case-controlled study has performed to investigate the relationship between fibrillin 1 gene intron 56 polymorphism and risk of mitral valvar prolapse in Turkish children.
Patients and methods
A total of 77 patients with mitral valvar prolapse diagnosed by clinical evaluation and echocardiography and 89 normal children of same age and sex were studied. The fibrillin-1 gene intron 56 polymorphism was identified by the polymerase chain reaction-based restriction analysis.
There was a significant difference in the distribution of fibrillin-1 gene intron 56 genotypes (p = 0.0001) and allelic frequency (p = 0.0001) between the cases and the controls.
Patients with mitral valvar prolapse have higher frequencies of fibrillin-1 gene intron 56 GC genotypes. Healthy children have higher frequencies of fibrillin-1 gene intron 56 CC genotypes. We speculate that the higher frequency of fibrillin-1 gene intron 56 G-allele increases the risk of mitral valvar prolapse.
Patients with acute rheumatic fever sometimes present with atypical signs and symptoms. In these circumstances, the Jones criterions may not be sufficient to make a clinical diagnosis. We describe here two patients with unusual presentations, highlighting that, both in regions where the disease is endemic, or where it is seen only sporadically, physicians should be more alert and careful in making the diagnosis.
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