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Congenital heart defects (CHDs) occur in 8 of 1000 live-born children, making them common birth defects in the adolescent population. CHDs may have single gene, chromosomal, or multifactorial causes. Despite evidence that patients with CHD want information on heritability and genetics, no studies have investigated the interest or knowledge base in the adolescent population. This information is necessary as patients in adolescence take greater ownership of their health care and discuss reproductive risks with their physicians. The objectives of this survey-based study were to determine adolescents’ recall of their own heart condition, to assess patient and parent perception of the genetic contribution to the adolescent’s CHD, and to obtain information about the preferred method(s) for education. The results show that adolescent patients had good recall of their type of CHD. Less than half of adolescents and parents believed their CHD had a genetic basis or was heritable; however, adolescents with a positive family history of CHD were more likely to believe that their condition was genetic (p = 0.0005). The majority of patients were interested in receiving additional genetics education and preferred education in-person and in consultation with both parents and a physician. The adolescents who felt most competent to have discussions with their doctors regarding potential causes of their heart defect previously had a school science course which covered topics in genetics. These results provide insight into adolescents’ perceptions and understanding about their CHD and genetic risk and may inform the creation and provision of additional genetic education.
There is a known high prevalence of genetic and clinical syndrome diagnoses in the paediatric cardiac population. These disorders often have multisystem effects, which may have an important impact on neurodevelopmental outcomes. Taken together, these facts suggest that patients and families may benefit from consultation by genetic specialists in a cardiac neurodevelopmental clinic.
This study assessed the burden of genetic disorders and utility of genetics evaluation in a cardiac neurodevelopmental clinic.
A retrospective chart review was conducted of patients evaluated in a cardiac neurodevelopmental clinic from 6 December, 2011 to 16 April, 2013. All patients were seen by a cardiovascular geneticist with genetic counselling support.
A total of 214 patients were included in this study; 64 of these patients had a pre-existing genetic or syndromic diagnosis. Following genetics evaluation, an additional 19 were given a new clinical or laboratory-confirmed genetic diagnosis including environmental such as teratogenic exposures, malformation associations, chromosomal disorders, and single-gene disorders. Genetic testing was recommended for 112 patients; radiological imaging to screen for congenital anomalies for 17 patients; subspecialist medical referrals for 73 patients; and non-genetic clinical laboratory testing for 14 patients. Syndrome-specific guidelines were available and followed for 25 patients with known diagnosis. American Academy of Pediatrics Red Book asplenia guideline recommendations were given for five heterotaxy patients, and family-based cardiac screening was recommended for 23 families affected by left ventricular outflow tract obstruction.
Genetics involvement in a cardiac neurodevelopmental clinic is helpful in identifying new unifying diagnoses and providing syndrome-specific care, which may impact the patient’s overall health status and neurodevelopmental outcome.
In the United States alone, ∼14,000 children are hospitalised annually with acute heart failure. The science and art of caring for these patients continues to evolve. The International Pediatric Heart Failure Summit of Johns Hopkins All Children’s Heart Institute was held on February 4 and 5, 2015. The 2015 International Pediatric Heart Failure Summit of Johns Hopkins All Children’s Heart Institute was funded through the Andrews/Daicoff Cardiovascular Program Endowment, a philanthropic collaboration between All Children’s Hospital and the Morsani College of Medicine at the University of South Florida (USF). Sponsored by All Children’s Hospital Andrews/Daicoff Cardiovascular Program, the International Pediatric Heart Failure Summit assembled leaders in clinical and scientific disciplines related to paediatric heart failure and created a multi-disciplinary “think-tank”. The purpose of this manuscript is to summarise the lessons from the 2015 International Pediatric Heart Failure Summit of Johns Hopkins All Children’s Heart Institute, to describe the “state of the art” of the treatment of paediatric cardiac failure, and to discuss future directions for research in the domain of paediatric cardiac failure.
Cardiomyopathy frequently has a genetic basis. In adults, mutations in genes encoding components of the sarcomere, cytoskeleton, or desmosome are frequent genetic causes of cardiomyopathy. Although children share these causes, ~30% of children have an underlying metabolic, syndromic, or neuromuscular condition causing their cardiomyopathy, making the aetiologies more diverse in children as compared with adults. Although some children present with obvious signs or symptoms of metabolic, syndromic, or neuromuscular disease, other cases may be quite subtle, requiring a high level of suspicion in order to diagnose them. In general, the younger the child, the more extensive the differential. Advantages of identifying the underlying genetic cause of cardiomyopathy in the paediatric population include confirming the diagnosis in ambiguous cases, facilitating appropriate surveillance and management of cardiac and extra-cardiac diseases, providing prognostic information, and establishing the genetic basis in the family, thereby allowing the identification of at-risk relatives and institution of appropriate family screening as indicated. For these reasons, genetic testing is increasingly recognised as standard of care, and guidelines for genetic counselling, testing, and incorporation of family-based risk assessment have been established. Therapies aimed at treating specific genetic aetiologies of cardiomyopathy are emerging and are exciting new developments that require increasingly sophisticated approaches to diagnosis. As genetic testing capabilities continue to expand technically, careful interpretation, knowledgeable clinical utilisation, and appropriate dissemination of genetic information are important and challenging components of clinical care.
We report replacement of the aortic valve in a patient aged 9 years with mucolipidosis III and severe aortic insufficiency. Histopathology demonstrated abnormalities of the matrix and lysosomal inclusion bodies. As life expectancy increases for patients with lysosomal storage disorders, approaches to intervention for valvar disease become increasingly important.
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