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Cardiopulmonary exercise testing represents the diagnostic tool for determining cardiopulmonary function. Especially in small children, exercise testing is extremely challenging. To address this problem, field testing has been implemented using small mobile devices. This study aims at using this protocol for developing normal values for cardiopulmonary exercise testing in very young children.
Material and methods:
Healthy children aged 4–8 years were recruited. All children were tested according to an outdoor protocol, in which they were instructed to walk, then run slowly, then a little harder and at last run at full speed. Each step lasted for 2 minutes, except the last step, in which the children were instructed to maintain as long as possible.
A total of 104 children (64 female/35 male, mean age 6.6 years) performed outdoor cardiopulmonary exercise testing using a mobile device. Almost all tests were completed successfully (95%). Despite a predominance of female study subjects, anthropometric values did not differ between boys and girls. V̇O2peak/kg, respiratory exchange ratio, VT1, heart rate at VT1, and time of exercise were also comparable between sexes. Generally, a tendency of higher maximal oxygen uptake could be observed in older children.
Open field mobile cardiopulmonary exercise testing represents a novel approach in very young children. In this study, we were able to determine normal values of maximal oxygen uptake and OUES/kg for 4–8-year-old children. The method is easy to achieve and safe.
Telemedicine gained an increasing use throughout the last years. Lifestyle tools like the Apple watch seem to have an increasing spread even in remote areas and underdeveloped regions. The increasing availability of these tools offers the chance to use the health care functions of these devices to improve provision of professional medical care. First data on the use of the Apple Watch as a remote monitoring device in children have been reported, showing good acceptability and usability of the Apple Watch for symptom monitoring in children. This study aimed to evaluate the accuracy of the Apple Watch iECG in comparison to a standard 12-lead ECG in pre-term babies.
In this prospective, single-arm study, consecutive preterm neonates hospitalised in Leipzig University Hospital neonatal ICU were eligible. A 12-lead ECG and an iECG using Apple Watch 4 were performed. iECG and 12-lead ECG measurements were performed by a paediatric cardiologist. Cardiac rhythm was classified and amplitudes and timing intervals were analysed for comparability.
Fifty preterm neonates, gestational week (23–36 weeks), and body weight (0.65–3.09 kg) were enrolled. Overall good quality and excellent correlation of the Apple Watch generated iECG in comparison to the standard 12-lead ECG could be demonstrated (p < 0.001). When interpreted by a paediatric cardiologist, a correct rhythm classification could be done in 100% of cases.
The Apple Watch iECG seems to be a valuable tool to record an ECG comparable to lead I of the standard 12-lead ECG even in pre-term neonates. With a widespread availability and excellent connectivity, the Apple Watch iECG function may provide practitioners with a tool to send an iECG for interpretation to a paediatric cardiac specialist.
In view of the increasing complexity of both cardiovascular implantable electronic devices (CIEDs) and patients in the current era, practice guidelines, by necessity, have become increasingly specific. This document is an expert consensus statement that has been developed to update and further delineate indications and management of CIEDs in pediatric patients, defined as ≤21 years of age, and is intended to focus primarily on the indications for CIEDs in the setting of specific disease categories. The document also highlights variations between previously published adult and pediatric CIED recommendations and provides rationale for underlying important differences. The document addresses some of the deterrents to CIED access in low- and middle-income countries and strategies to circumvent them. The document sections were divided up and drafted by the writing committee members according to their expertise. The recommendations represent the consensus opinion of the entire writing committee, graded by class of recommendation and level of evidence. Several questions addressed in this document either do not lend themselves to clinical trials or are rare disease entities, and in these instances recommendations are based on consensus expert opinion. Furthermore, specific recommendations, even when supported by substantial data, do not replace the need for clinical judgment and patient-specific decision-making. The recommendations were opened for public comment to Pediatric and Congenital Electrophysiology Society (PACES) members and underwent external review by the scientific and clinical document committee of the Heart Rhythm Society (HRS), the science advisory and coordinating committee of the American Heart Association (AHA), the American College of Cardiology (ACC), and the Association for European Paediatric and Congenital Cardiology (AEPC). The document received endorsement by all the collaborators and the Asia Pacific Heart Rhythm Society (APHRS), the Indian Heart Rhythm Society (IHRS), and the Latin American Heart Rhythm Society (LAHRS). This document is expected to provide support for clinicians and patients to allow for appropriate CIED use, appropriate CIED management, and appropriate CIED follow-up in pediatric patients.
The field of electrophysiology (EP) in paediatric cardiology patients and adults with congenital heart disease is complex and rapidly growing. The current recommendations for diagnostic and invasive electrophysiology of the working group for Cardiac Dysrhythmias and Electrophysiology of the Association for European Paediatric and Congenital Cardiology acknowledges the diveristy of European countries and centers. These training recommendations can be fulfilled in a manageable period of time, without compromising the quality of training required to become an expert in the field of paediatric and congenital EP and are for trainees undergoing or having completed accredited paediatric cardiologist fellowship. Three levels of expertise, the training for General paediatric cardiology EP, for non-invasive EP and invasive EP have been defined. This Association for European EP curriculum describes the theoretical and practicsal knowledge in clinical EP; catheter ablation, cardiac implantable electronic devices, inherited arrhythmias and arrhythmias in adults with congenital heart defects for the 3 levels of expertise.
The implantation of a pacemaker or an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator during childhood may reduce quality of life and lead to mental health problems. This study aimed to evaluate potential mental health problems (i.e., depressive and anxiety symptoms) and quality of life in children with cardiac active devices in comparison to healthy peers.
We analysed data of children with pacemakers or implantable cardioverter-defibrillators aged 6–18 years. Quality of life, depressive and anxiety symptoms were assessed by standardised questionnaires. The results were compared to age-matched reference groups.
Children with implantable cardioverter-defibrillator showed significant lower quality of life in comparison to reference group (p = 0.03), but there was no difference in quality of life between children with pacemaker and reference group. There was no significant difference in depressive symptoms between children with a cardiac rhythm device compared to reference group (self-report: p = 0.67; proxy report: p = 0.49). There was no significant difference in anxiety (p = 0.53) and depressive symptoms (p = 0.86) between children with pacemaker and children with implantable cardioverter-defibrillator.
Living with an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator in childhood seems to decrease the patients’ quality of life. Although children with pacemaker and implantable cardioverter-defibrillator don’t seem to show more depressive and anxiety symptoms in comparison to their healthy peers, there still can be an increased risk for those children to develop mental health problems. Therefore, treating physicians should be aware of potential mental health problems and provide the patients and their families with appropriate therapeutic offers.
In the era of multi-modality imaging, this study compared contemporary, pre-operative echocardiography and cardiac MRI in predicting the need for intervention on additional lesions before surgical bidirectional cavopulmonary connection.
A total of 72 patients undergoing bidirectional cavopulmonary connection for single-ventricle palliation between 2007 and 2012, who underwent pre-operative assessment using both echocardiography and MRI, were included. The pre-determined outcome measure was any additional surgical or catheter-based intervention within 6 months of bidirectional cavopulmonary connection. Indices assessed were as follows: indexed dimensions of right and left pulmonary arteries, coarctation of the aorta, adequacy of interatrial communication, and degree of atrioventricular valve regurgitation.
Median age at bidirectional cavopulmonary connection was 160 days (interquartile range 121–284). The following MRI parameters predicted intervention: Z score for right pulmonary artery (odds ratio 1.77 (95% confidence interval 1.12–2.79, p=0.014)) and left pulmonary artery dimensions (odds ratio 1.45 (1.04–2.00, p=0.027)) and left pulmonary artery report conclusion (odds ratio 1.57 (1.06–2.33)). The magnetic resonance report predicted aortic arch intervention (odds ratio 11.5 (3.5–37.7, p=0.00006)). The need for atrioventricular valve repair was associated only with magnetic resonance regurgitation fraction score (odds ratio 22.4 (1.7–295.1, p=0.018)). Echocardiography assessment was superior to MRI for predicting intervention on interatrial septum (odds ratio 27.7 (6.3–121.6, p=0.00001)).
For branch pulmonary arteries, aortic arch, and atrioventricular valve regurgitation, MRI parameters more reliably predict the need for intervention; however, echocardiography more accurately identified the adequacy of interatrial communication. Approaching bidirectional cavopulmonary connection, the diagnostic strengths of MRI and echocardiography should be acknowledged when considering intervention.
Delayed sternal closure is used to prevent low cardiac output syndrome in selected newborns shortly after cardiac surgery for congenital cardiac defects. Sternal closure itself often causes haemodynamic and ventilatory instability that cannot be entirely assessed by standard monitoring means. Therefore, we used transpulmonary thermodilution technique for an exact evaluation of the haemodynamic changes.
Patients and methods
Between April, 2006, and December, 2008, 23 neonates aged from 1 to 30 days, with a median of 7 days, and weighing from 1.9 to 4.2 kilograms, with a median of 3.25 kilograms, were studied after biventricular corrections. Residual intracardiac shunts were excluded by echocardiography. Haemodynamic and ventilatory parameters, along with those obtained by the transpulmonary thermodilution technique, were recorded before and immediately after the sternal closure, and then at 0.5, 1, 2, 6, 12, 24, and 48 hours.
Chest closure caused significant decrease in systolic arterial pressure from 80.04 ± 11.48 to 69.48 ± 9.63 mmHg (p < 0.001), cardiac index from [median (25th/75th centile)] 2.640 (2.355/2.950) to 2.070 (1.860/2.420) l/min/m2 (p < 0.001), stroke volume index from 18.50 (16.00/20.00) to 14.00 (11.00/17.00) ml/m2 (p < 0.001), and dynamic lung compliance from 2.45 (2.31/3.00) to 2.30 (2.14/2.77) ml/cmH2O (p = 0.007). Stroke volume variation increased from 14.00 (9.25/16.75) to 18.00 (15.00/21.00) % (p < 0.001). The oxygenation index transitorily increased from 2.50 (2.14/3.15) to 3.36 (2.63/4.29) (p < 0.001). Serum lactate decreased from 1.40 (1.12/2.27) to 1.0 (0.8/1.3)mmol/l, p < 0.001 in coincidence with a haemodynamic stabilisation at a later time after chest closure. Cardiopulmonary instability caused by the sternal closure necessitated therapeutic intervention in 18 of 23 patients (78.3%).
Delayed sternal closure causes a significant transitory decrease in stroke volume, cardiac output and arterial blood pressure. Also lung compliance and blood oxygenation are temporarily significantly compromised.
To the best of our knowledge, normal limits of heart rate with respect to gender, and as established using 24-hour ambulatory Holter electrocardiography, have yet to be published for the entire age range of children and adolescents.
To establish the normal limits for heart rate in newborns, infants, children, and adolescents of both genders.
Patients and methods
We obtained 24-hour Holter recordings from 616 healthy subjects aged from birth to 20 years with structurally normal hearts. The subjects were not receiving medication, and had not been submitted to prior cardiac intervention. Off-line analysis was performed with Mars 8000 scanners, analysing 5 consecutive RR intervals by the software available for automatic calculation of heart rate. All subjects were in sinus rhythm. Best-fit non-linear regressions were applied to correlate age and gender with minimum and mean heart rate, as well as with maximal RR-interval, and to calculate the 5th, 25th, 75th and 95th percentiles.
We observed significant gender-dependent differences in heart rate for persons aged 10 years and older, with the males exhibiting lower minimal and mean heart rates, and higher RR-intervals, than the females. Correlation of heart rate with age and gender could be established with sufficient accuracy using non-linear regression (p less than 0.0001): Minimum heart rate (male: R2=0.778, female: R2 = 0.664) and mean heart rate (male: R2 = 0.820, female: R2 = 0.736) decreased with age, while the maximal RR-interval prolonged (male: R2 = 0.562, female: R2 = 0.486). Age and gender-related graphs of centiles were constructed.
Heart rate, as documented using Holter recodings, can be correlated with age and gender, permitting establishments of normal gender-specific limits for children and adolescents.
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