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We conducted a scientific survey of paediatric practitioners who manage heart failure with dilated cardiomyopathy in children. The survey covered management from diagnosis to treatment to monitoring, totalling 63 questions. There were 54 respondents from 40 institutions and 3 countries. There were diverse selections of management options by the respondents in general, but also unanimity in some management options. Variation in practice is likely due to the relative paucity of scientific data in this field and lack of strong evidence-based recommendations from guidelines, which presents an opportunity for future research and quality improvement efforts as the evidence base continues to grow.
Longitudinal evaluation of allograft diastolic function in paediatric heart transplant recipients is important for early detection of acute rejection, cardiac allograft vasculopathy, and graft dysfunction. Mean diastolic right atrial and pulmonary capillary wedge pressures obtained at catheterisation are the reference standards for assessment. Echocardiography is non-invasive and more suitable for serial surveillance, but individual parameters have lacked accuracy. This study aimed to identify covariates of post-transplant mean right atrial and pulmonary capillary wedge pressures, including B-type natriuretic peptide and certain echocardiographic parameters.
A retrospective review of 143 scheduled cardiac catheterisations and echocardiograms from 56 paediatric recipients transplanted from 2007 to 2011 was performed. Samples with rejection were excluded. Univariate and multivariate linear regression models using backward selection were applied to a database consisting of B-type natriuretic peptide, haemodynamic, and echocardiographic data.
Ln B-type natriuretic peptide, heart rate z-score, left ventricular end-diastolic dimension z-score, mitral E/e’, and percent interventricular septal thickening in systole were independently associated with mean right atrial pressure. Ln B-type natriuretic peptide, heart rate z-score, left ventricular end-diastolic dimension z-score, left ventricular mass (observed/predicted), and mitral E/e’ were independently associated with mean pulmonary capillary wedge pressure. Covariates of B-type natriuretic peptide included mean pulmonary artery and pulmonary capillary wedge pressures, height, haemoglobin, fractional shortening, percent interventricular septal thickening in systole, and pulmonary vascular resistance index.
B-type natriuretic peptide and echocardiographic indices of diastolic function were independently related to post-transplant mean right atrial and pulmonary capillary wedge pressures in paediatric heart transplant recipients without rejection.
Antibody-mediated rejection is a major clinical challenge that limits graft survival. Various modalities of treatment have been reported in small studies in paediatric heart recipients. A novel approach is to use complement-inhibiting agents, such as eculizumab, which inhibits cleavage of C5 to C5a thereby limiting the formation of membrane attack complex and terminal complement-mediated injury of tissue-bound antibodies. This medical modality of treatment has theoretical advantages but the collective experience in its use in the solid organ transplant community remains small. We add to this experience by combining 14 cases from 6 paediatric heart centres in this descriptive study.
Paediatric heart transplantation has evolved over the last 3 decades. The research group, Pediatric Heart Transplant Study, has been in step with that evolution over the nearly 20 years of its existence by utilising its registry to contribute a wealth of clinical research to the field. The highlights of its studies will be presented in this review.
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.
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