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There is little known about the spectrum of cardiac injury in acute COVID-19 infection in children.
A single-centre, retrospective chart analysis was performed. The protocol was deemed IRB exempt. All patients under the age of 21 years admitted from 20 March, 2020 to 22 June, 2021 for acute symptomatic COVID-19 infection or clinical suspicion of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) associated with COVID-19 were included. Past medical history, lab findings, echocardiogram and electrocardiogram/telemetry findings, and clinical outcomes were reviewed.
Sixty-six patients with MIS-C and 178 with acute COVID-19 were reviewed. Patients with MIS-C had more cardiac testing than those with acute COVID-19. Inflammatory markers were more likely elevated, and function was more likely abnormal on echocardiogram in those with MIS-C with testing performed. Among patients with MIS-C, 17% had evidence of coronary dilation versus 0% in the acute COVID-19 group. One (0.6%) patient with acute COVID-19 had clinically significant electrocardiogram or telemetry findings, and this was in the setting of prior arrhythmias and CHD. Four (6%) patients with MIS-C had clinically significant findings on electrocardiogram or telemetry. Among patients with acute COVID-19, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation support was required in 0.6% of patients with acute COVID-19, and there was a 2.8% mortality. There were no deaths in the setting of MIS-C.
Patients with acute COVID-19 and clinical suspicion of cardiac injury had a lower incidence of abnormal laboratory findings, ventricular dysfunction, or significant arrhythmia than those with MIS-C.
Despite prenatal diagnosis, prenatal intervention, and immediate postnatal intervention, patients with hypoplastic left heart syndrome and intact or highly restrictive atrial septum have the highest risk for mortality. Charts for all infants diagnosed with hypoplastic left heart syndrome from 2009 to 2017 were retrospectively reviewed and compared, including pulmonary vein Doppler patterns on fetal echocardiogram and evidence of pulmonary lymphangiectasia on fetal MRI. Of the 81 newborns with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, we defined two groups. Group 1 patients had an adequate atrial septal communication (n = 69), while Group 2 met criteria for intact/restrictive septum (n = 12). No patient in Group 1 had a type C pulmonary vein Doppler pattern, while no patient in Group 2 had a type A pulmonary vein Doppler pattern. The two patients with pulmonary lymphangiectasia had type C pulmonary vein Doppler pattern and an intact atrial septum and did not survive. Survival to discharge for Group 1 was 83% compared to 58% for Group 2 (p = 0.116). Survival to stage 2 palliation was 71% for Group 1 compared to 50% for Group 2 (p = 0.186). Only 4 of the initial 12 patients from Group 2 are alive, which is an overall survival of 33%. Our experience supports previous evidence that fetal echocardiography can identify those patients with the greatest likelihood for postnatal intervention as well as those at highest risk for mortality. Fetal MRI is a novel imaging modality that may help providers separate patients at highest risk for mortality, regardless of pulmonary vein Doppler pattern.
Patent ductus arteriosus is the most common cardiovascular abnormality in premature infants. With newly available percutaneous devices, centres are reporting high rates of success and favourable safety profiles with percutaneous closure of haemodynamically significant ductus arteriosi in infants under 1000 g. We report the case of a 5-week-old, previous 25-week gestation, 1200-g infant who underwent successful percutaneous closure of a ductus arteriosus with a Medtronic Microvascular Plug but who developed late-term coarctation from the device. This case should prompt practitioners to consider the need and timing of follow-up echocardiograms in this population and sheds light on a newly reported long-term complication of device closure in premature infants.
Takotsubo cardiomyopathy is characterised by akinesis and ballooning of the left ventricular apex during contraction of the otherwise normal base of the heart. We describe the case of a 7-month-old previously healthy female who presented with an unwitnessed cardiac arrest. Workup raised suspicion for non-accidental trauma. Despite progression to brain death, the severely decreased ventricular function and apical akinesis of the left ventricle improved within 40 hours of admission. This report will familiarise paediatricians with this rare cardiomyopathy and emphasise the importance of considering non-accidental trauma as an inciting event for patients with unwitnessed cardiac arrest found to have decreased ventricular function.
For most patients, adenoviruses cause few acute health concerns and are often self-limiting. Patients who are immunocompromised or immunosuppressed, however, are at risk for disseminated adenovirus and suffer high morbidity and mortality, without well-defined treatment options. We report the case of a 9-month-old boy who was successfully treated for disseminated adenovirus infection with intravenous immunoglobulin and cidofovir 3 months post heart transplant, tailored to serum adenoviral load and clinical response. We emphasise the importance of early identification, monitoring, and a potentially novel treatment in the paediatric cardiac transplant population with disseminated adenovirus infection.
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