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Prostaglandin E1 is used to maintain ductal patency in critical congenital heart disease (CHD). The standard starting dose of prostaglandin E1 is 0.05 µg/kg/minute. Lower doses are frequently used, but the efficacy and safety of a low-dose regimen of prostaglandin E1 has not been established.
We investigated neonates with critical CHD who were started on prostaglandin E1 at 0.01 µg/kg/minute. We reviewed 154 consecutive patients who were separated into three anatomical groups: obstruction to systemic circulation, obstruction to pulmonary circulation, and inadequate mixing (d-transposition of the great arteries). Treatment failure rates and two commonly reported side effects, respiratory depression and seizure, were studied.
A total of 26 patients (17%) required a dose increase in prostaglandin E1. Patients with pulmonary obstruction were more likely to require higher doses than patients with systemic obstruction (15/49, 31% versus 9/88, 10%, p = 0.003). Twenty-eight per cent of patients developed respiratory depression and 8% of patients needed mechanical ventilation. Prematurity (<37 week gestation) was the primary risk factor for respiratory depression. No patient required dose escalation or tracheal intubation while on transport. No patient had a seizure attributed to prostaglandin E1.
Prostaglandin E1 at an initial and maintenance dose of 0.01 µg/kg/minute was sufficient to maintain ductal patency in 83% of our cohort. The incidence of respiratory depression requiring mechanical ventilation was low and was mostly seen in premature infants. Starting low-dose prostaglandin E1 at 0.01 µg/kg/minute is a safe and effective therapy for critical CHD.
We aimed to conduct a multi-centre study characterising emergency department utilisation and critical readmissions experienced by children with Fontan circulation.
We conducted a retrospective review of children who underwent the Fontan operation at three institutions (i.e., centres A, B, and C) between 2009 and 2014, with follow-up through December 2015. Multi-variable analyses were performed to determine factors associated for emergency department utilisation within 1 year of surgery, emergency department utilisation at any time following surgery, or critical readmission (defined as admission to ICU, operating room, or cardiac catheterisation).
We reviewed 297 patients, of which 147 patients (49%) had 607 emergency department encounters. Forty-six patients (15%) required 71 critical readmissions. Multi-variable analyses revealed centre C (p = 0.02) and post-operative hospitalisation ≥ 14 days (p = 0.03) to be significantly associated with emergency department utilisation within 1 year, whereas centre B (p < 0.001), post-operative hospitalisation ≥ 14 days (p = 0.002), and African-American/Black race (p = 0.04) were significantly associated with critical readmission.
In this multi-centre study, nearly half of patients with Fontan circulation received emergency department care, often presenting with high disease acuity requiring readmission. Emergency department utilisation and need for critical readmission were independently influenced by the centre at which surgery was performed, prolonged post-operative hospitalisation, and racial background. These data could help guide quality improvement efforts aimed at reducing morbidity in this unique patient population.
Aorto-left ventricular tunnel is a rare disease that can cause significant morbidity early in life due to volume overload and left ventricular failure. Surgical intervention is usually curative with minimal early complications. However, long-term effects and outcome are not fully determined.
We are reporting a case series of this rare CHD with its long-term outcome.
We conducted a retrospective analysis of all children from birth to 14 years of age who were admitted between 2001 and 2020 with the diagnosis of aorto-left ventricular tunnel. Demographic, echocardiographic, and perioperative data were collected and reviewed. The pre-operative data were compared with data reviewed on the last outpatient follow-up.
Total of five patients fulfilled our inclusion criteria. Three patients were diagnosed after auscultating an incidental murmur, one had symptoms of congestive heart failure, and one had an abnormal fetal echocardiogram. Echocardiography demonstrated stenotic and regurgitant aortic valve with severely depressed left ventricle function in two patients, one of them with also single left coronary artery. The other three patients had normal aortic valve structure and normal ventricular function. All five patients had surgical repair, two by patch closure at aortic end of aorto-left ventricular tunnel, two by patch closure at both aortic and left ventricular ends, and one by aortic root replacement using a homograft. During follow-up, there was no residual aorto-left ventricular tunnel in any of our five cases, two had moderate aortic regurgitation and one had moderate residual aortic stenosis.
Spectrum of presentation for aorto-left ventricular tunnel varies from an occult lesion to frank left heart failure due to volume or less commonly, pressure overload. Early surgical repair is recommended and is usually associated with complete resolution. Long-term follow-up is recommended for aortic root dilatation and aortic valve competency, as valve function need to be addressed in a timely manner to avoid further complications.
Mitral valve aneurysm not associated with infective endocarditis is rarely reported in children. We report a case of perforated posterior mitral leaflet aneurysm in an infant with reference to surgical and histopathological findings. Although its aetiology remains unclear, we suggest to include mitral valve aneurysm in differential diagnosis as a cause of mitral regurgitation in children.
Operators are mindful of the balloon-to-aortic annulus ratio when performing balloon aortic valvuloplasty. The method of measurement of the aortic valve annulus has not been standardised.
Methods and results:
Patients who underwent aortic valvuloplasty at two paediatric centres between 2007 and 2014 were included. The valve annulus measured by echocardiography and angiography was used to calculate the balloon-to-aortic annulus ratio and measurements were compared. The primary endpoint was an increase in aortic insufficiency by ≥2 degrees. Ninety-eight patients with a median age at valvuloplasty of 2.1 months (Interquartile range (IQR): 0.2–105.5) were included. The angiographic-based annulus was 8.2 mm (IQR: 6.8–16.0), which was greater than echocardiogram-based annulus of 7.5 mm (IQR: 6.1–14.8) (p < 0.001). This corresponded to a significantly lower angiographic balloon-to-aortic annulus ratio of 0.9 (IQR: 0.9–1.0), compared to an echocardiographic ratio of 1.1 (IQR: 1.0–1.1) (p < 0.001). The degree of discrepancy in measured diameter increased with smaller valve diameters (p = 0.041) and in neonates (p = 0.044). There was significant disagreement between angiographic and echocardiographic balloon-to-aortic annulus ratio measures regarding “High” ratio of >1.2, with angiographic ratio flagging only 2/12 (16.7%) of patients flagged by echocardiographic ratio as “High” (p = 0.012). Patients who had an increase in the degree of aortic insufficiency post valvuloplasty, only 3 (5.5%) had angiographic ratio > 1.1, while 21 (38%) had echocardiographic ratio >1.1 (p < 0.001). Patients with resultant ≥ moderate insufficiency more often had an echocardiographic ratio of >1.1 than angiographic ratio of >1.1 There was no association between increase in balloon-to-aortic annulus ratio and gradient reduction.
Angiographic measurement is associated with a greater measured aortic valve annulus and the development of aortic insufficiency. Operators should use caution when relying solely on angiographic measurement when performing balloon aortic valvuloplasty.
CHD is closely related to respiratory system diseases (Mok Q, Front Pediatr 2017; 5: 2296–2360). Flexible fibreoptic bronchoscopy will diagnose anatomical lesions of the trachea and perform interventions at the same time for children with indications. We report a case of pulmonary artery sling with severe tracheostenosis in a 11-month-old boy. Tracheal stents were placed with good prognosis.
Limiting SFA intake may minimise the risk of CHD. However, such reduction often leads to increased intake of carbohydrates. We aimed to evaluate associations and the interplay of carbohydrate and SFA intake on CHD risk.
Prospective cohort study.
We followed participants in the Hordaland Health Study, Norway from 1997–1999 through 2009. Information on carbohydrate and SFA intake was obtained from a FFQ and analysed as continuous and categorical (quartiles) variables. Multivariable Cox regression estimated hazard ratios (HR) and 95 % CI. Theoretical substitution analyses modelled the substitution of carbohydrates with other nutrients. CHD was defined as fatal or non-fatal CHD (ICD9 codes 410–414 and ICD10 codes I20–I25).
2995 men and women, aged 46–49 years.
Adjusting for age, sex, energy intake, physical activity and smoking, SFA was associated with lower risk (HRQ4 v. Q1 0·44, 95 % CI 0·26, 0·76, Ptrend = 0·002). For carbohydrates, the opposite pattern was observed (HRQ4 v. Q1 2·10, 95 % CI 1·22, 3·63, Ptrend = 0·003). SFA from cheese was associated with lower CHD risk (HRQ4 v. Q1 0·44, 95 % CI 0·24, 0·83, Ptrend = 0·006), while there were no associations between SFA from other food items and CHD. A 5 E% substitution of carbohydrates with total fat, but not SFA, was associated with lower CHD risk (HR 0·75, 95 % CI 0·62, 0·90).
Higher intake of predominantly high glycaemic carbohydrates and lower intake of SFA, specifically lower intake from cheese, were associated with higher CHD risk. Substituting carbohydrates with total fat, but not SFA, was associated with significantly lower risk of CHD.
We aimed to determine the early and midterm outcomes of ductal stenting in neonates with ductal-dependent pulmonary blood flow.
Between January, 2014 and July, 2018, 102 patients who underwent 115 cardiac catheterisation procedures for ductal stent implantation in our department were retrospectively reviewed. The age of the neonates ranged from 3 to 30 days (median: 11 days) and their weights ranged from 1.8 to 5.8 kg (mean, 2.8 ± 0.53 kg). Fifty-two patients had functional single ventricle and 50 had biventricular physiology. Thirty-one patients’ weights were <2,500 g (30.3%). The patent ductus arteriosus was vertical in 60 patients (58.8%). The mean ductal length was 12.4 ± 4.1 mm (range, 7.8–23 mm), and the mean narrowest ductal diameter was 2.1 ± 0.7 mm (range, 1.2–3.4 mm).
The technical success rate was 85.2%. Procedure-related mortality occurred in three patients (2.9%). After the procedure, the aortic oxygen saturation increased from a mean of 73.1 ± 6.2% to a mean of 90.4 ± 4.3% (p < 0.001), and the ductus diameter increased from a mean of 2.1 ± 0.7 mm to a mean of 4.2 ± 0.9 mm (p < 0.001). Either transcatheter or surgical reinterventions were required in 35 patients (34.3%) during the follow-up period after a median of 101 days (2–356 days). Thirty-three patients (32.3%) were bridged to surgical repair after a median of 288 days (163–650 days). The median duration of palliation with ductal stents was 210 days (range, 2–525 days).
Ductus arteriosus stenting may be a reasonable and effective alternative to surgery for the initial palliation procedure in neonates with ductus-dependent pulmonary flow.
Predictors of compliance with aspirin in children following cardiac catheterisation have not been identified. The aim of this study is to identify the caregivers’ knowledge, compliance with aspirin medication, and predictors of compliance with aspirin in children with Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) post-percutaneous transcatheter occlusion.
A cross-sectional explorative design was adopted using a self-administered questionnaire and conducted between May 2017 and May 2018. Recruited were 220 caregivers of children with CHD post-percutaneous transcatheter occlusion. Questionnaires included child and caregivers’ characteristics, a self-designed and tested knowledge about aspirin scale (scoring scale 0–2), and the 8-item Morisky Medication Adherence Scale (scoring scale 0–8). Data were analysed using multivariate binary logistic regression analysis to identify predictors of compliance with aspirin.
Of the 220 eligible children and caregivers, 210 (95.5%) responded and 209 surveys were included in the analysis. The mean score of knowledge was 7.25 (standard deviation 2.27). The mean score of compliance was 5.65 (standard deviation 1.36). Child’s age, length of aspirin use, health insurance policies, relationship to child, monthly income, and knowledge about aspirin of caregivers were independent predictors of compliance with aspirin (p < 0.05).
Caregivers of children with CHD had an adequate level of knowledge about aspirin. Compliance to aspirin medication reported by caregivers was low. Predictors of medium to high compliance with aspirin were related to the child’s age and socio-economic reasons. Further studies are needed to identify effective strategies to improve knowledge, compliance with medication, and long-term outcomes of children with CHD.
The perioperative complications rate in paediatric cardiac surgery, as well as the failure-to-rescue impact, is less known in low- and middle-income countries.
To evaluate perioperative complications rate, mortality related to complications, different patients’ demographics, and procedural risk factors for perioperative complication and post-operative death.
Risk factors for perioperative complications and operative mortality were assessed in a retrospective single-centre study which included 296 consecutive children undergoing cardiac surgery.
Overall mortality was 5.7%. Seventy-three patients (24.7%) developed 145 perioperative complications and had 17 operative mortalities (23.3%). There was a strong association between the number of perioperative complications and mortality – 8.1% among patients with only 1 perioperative complication, 35.3% – with 2 perioperative complications, and 42.1% – with 3 or more perioperative complications (p = 0.007). Risk factors of perioperative complications were younger age (odds ratio 0.76; (95% confidence interval 0.61, 0.93), previous cardiac surgery (odds ratio 3.5; confidence interval 1.33, 9.20), extracardiac structural anomalies (odds ratio 3.03; confidence interval 1.27, 7.26), concomitant diseases (odds ratio 3.23; confidence interval 1.34, 7.72), and cardiopulmonary bypass (odds ratio 6.33; confidence interval 2.45, 16.4), whereas the total number of perioperative complications per patient was the only predictor of operative death (odds ratio 1.89; confidence interval 1.06, 3.37).
In a program with limited systemic resources, failure-to-rescue is a major contributor to operative mortality in paediatric cardiac surgery. Despite the comparable crude mortality, the operative mortality among patients with perioperative complications in our series was significantly higher than in the developed world. A number of initiatives are needed in order to improve failure-to-rescue rates in low- and middle-income countries.
To explore if there is association between vitamin D supplementation through cod liver oil ingestion around the periconceptional period and the risk of developing severe CHD in offspring. Furthermore, we would examine the interaction between vitamin D and folic acid supplementation in the association.
A case–control study was conducted in Shanghai Children’s Medical Center, in which, a total of 262 severe CHD cases versus 262 controls were recruited through June 2016 to December 2017. All children were younger than 2 years. To reduce potential selection bias and to minimise confounding effects, propensity score matching was applied.
After propensity score matching, vitamin D supplementation seemed to be associated with decreased odds ratio of severe CHD (odds ratio = 0.666; 95% confidence intervals: 0.449–0.990) in the multivariable conditional logistic analysis. Furthermore, we found an additive interaction between vitamin D and folic acid supplementation (relative excess risk due to interaction = 0.810, 95% confidence intervals: 0.386–1.235) in the association.
The results suggested that maternal vitamin D supplementation could decrease the risk of offspring severe CHD; moreover, it could strengthen the protective effect of folic acid. The significance of this study lies in providing epidemiological evidence that vitamin D supplementation around the periconceptional period could be a potential nutritional intervention strategy to meet the challenge of increasing CHD.
This study aimed to evaluate the clinical features of patients with septum primum malposition, imaging tools used for diagnosis, and their effects on the surgical approach.
Materials and methods:
Patients diagnosed with septum primum malposition in our paediatric cardiac centre between 1 January, 2015 and 1 January, 2019 were included in the study. In all patients, the age, reason for admission, transthoracic echocardiography, cardiac multidetector CT angiography findings, and subsequent surgical data were evaluated.
Fifteen patients were diagnosed with septum primum malposition during the study period. The median age was 12 months (2 months–10 years). Six patients were left isomeric, and the rest were situs solitus; 80% of the patients (n = 12) had additional secundum atrial septal defect. There was cardiac pathology in 46% of the patients (n = 7) in addition to the abnormal pulmonary venous drainage, ventricular septal defect (n = 3), left ventricularhypoplasia (n = 2), cortriatriatum sinister (n = 2), double outlet right ventricle (n = 1), and atrioventricular septal defect (n = 1). There was bilateral superior caval vein in three patients, right-sided superior caval vein in 11 patients, and left-sided superior caval vein in one patient. All three patients with total abnormal pulmonary venous drainage were left atrial isomeric. There were differences between the results of transthoracic echocardiography and CT angiographies in two patients. The surgical strategy was changed in three patients after the preoperative diagnosis of septum primum malposition.
Septum primum malposition should be kept in mind during the imaging of complex CHDs specifically during the segmental analysis of the pathologies with heterotaxy syndromes; it should be differentiated from other aetiologies of abnormal pulmonary venous drainage as accurate diagnosis would facilitate the ideal surgery in these complex pathologies requiring a detailed preoperative preparation.
Myocardial bridges are often asymptomatic but may need therapy when causing ischaemia. They have rarely been reported in children or in association with CHD, where symptomatology may be mistakenly attributed to the CHD. We report a case of multiple myocardial bridges causing ischaemia in an adolescent with pulmonary stenosis and discuss management.
We report the case of a 2-year-old girl who developed catastrophic haemoptysis due to an arterio-bronchial fistula after transcatheter balloon dilatation for a narrowing aortopulmonary shunt. We embolised the fistula while haemoptysis was controlled with the left bronchial block ventilation and haemostatic balloon occlusion of the left subclavian artery. An arterio-bronchial fistula is an extremely rare complication for balloon dilatation of an aortopulmonary shunt.
Infants with single ventricle following stage I palliation are at risk for poor nutrition and growth failure. We hypothesise a standardised enteral feeding protocol for these infants that will result in a more rapid attainment of nutritional goals without an increased incidence of gastrointestinal co-morbidities.
Materials and methods:
Single-centre cardiac ICU, prospective case series with historical comparisons. Feeding cohort consisted of consecutive patients with a single ventricle admitted to cardiac ICU over 18 months following stage I palliation (n = 33). Data were compared with a control cohort and admitted to the cardiac ICU over 18 months before feeding protocol implementation (n = 30). Feeding protocol patients were randomised: (1) protocol with cerebro-somatic near-infrared spectroscopy feeding advancement criteria (n = 17) or (2) protocol without cerebro-somatic near-infrared spectroscopy feeding advancement criteria (n = 16).
Median time to achieve goal enteral volume was significantly higher in the control compared to feeding cohort. There were no significant differences in enteral feeds being held for feeding intolerance or necrotising enterocolitis between cohorts. Feeding cohort had significant improvements in discharge nutritional status (weight, difference admit to discharge weight, weight-for-age z score, volume, and caloric enteral nutrition) and late mortality compared to the control cohort. No infants in the feeding group with cerebro-somatic near-infrared spectroscopy developed necrotising enterocolitis versus 4/16 (25%) in the feeding cohort without cerebro-somatic near-infrared spectroscopy (p = 0.04).
A feeding protocol is a safe and effective means of initiating and advancing enteral nutrition in infants following stage I palliation and resulted in improved nutrition delivery, weight gain, and nourishment status at discharge without increased incidence of gastrointestinal co-morbidities.
CHDs are one of the most frequent congenital malformations, affecting one in hundred live births. In total, 70% will require treatment in the first year of life, but over 90% of cases in low- and middle-income countries receive no treatment or suboptimal treatment. As a result, CHDs are responsible for 66% of preventable deaths due to congenital malformations in low- and middle-income countries. This study examines the unmet need of congenital cardiac care around the world based on the global burden of disease.
Materials and methods:
CHD morbidity and mortality data for 2006, 2011, and 2016 were collected from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation Global Burden of Disease Results Tool and analysed longitudinally to assess trends in excess morbidity and mortality.
Between 2006 and 2016, a 20.7% reduction in excess disability-adjusted life years and 20.6% reduction in excess deaths due to CHDs were observed for children under 15. In 2016, excess global morbidity and mortality due to CHDs remained high with 14,788,418.7 disability-adjusted life years and 171,761.8 paediatric deaths, respectively. In total, 90.2% of disability-adjusted life years and 91.2% of deaths were considered excess.
This study illustrates the unmet need of congenital cardiac care around the world. Progress has been made to reduce morbidity and mortality due to CHDs but remains high and largely treatable around the world. Limited academic attention for global paediatric cardiac care magnifies the lack of progress in this area.
To characterise the parenting priorities of mothers and fathers of infants hospitalised with CHD and generate recommendations to support parenting during infant hospitalisation.
Through online crowdsourcing, an innovative research methodology to create an online community to serve as a research sample, 79 parents of young children with CHD responded to questions about parenting during hospitalisation via private social networking site. Responses were analysed using qualitative research methods.
Three broad themes were identified: (1) establishing a bond with my baby, (2) asserting the parental role, and (3) coping with fear and uncertainty. Parents value provider support in restoring normalcy to the parenting experience during infant hospitalisation.
Care teams can support parenting during infant hospitalisation by promoting parents’ roles as primary caretakers and decision-makers and attending to the emotional impact of infant hospitalisation on the family.
Hospital readmission is an important driver of costs among patients with CHD. We assessed predictors of 30-day rehospitalisation following cardiac surgery in CHD patients across the lifespan.
This was a retrospective analysis of 981 patients with CHD who had cardiac surgery between January 2011 and December 2012. A multivariate logistic regression model was used to identify demographic, clinical, and surgical predictors of 30-day readmission. Receiver operating curves derived from multivariate logistic modelling were utilised to discriminate between patients who were readmitted and not-readmitted at 30 days. Model goodness of fit was assessed using the Hosmer–Lemeshow test statistic.
Readmission in the 30 days following congenital heart surgery is common (14.0%). Among 981 patients risk factors associated with increased odds of 30-day readmission after congenital heart surgery through multivariate analysis included a history of previous cardiac surgery (p < 0.001), longer post-operative length of stay (p < 0.001), as well as nutritional (p < 0.001), haematologic (p < 0.02), and endocrine (p = 0.04) co-morbidities. Patients who underwent septal defect repair had reduced odds of readmission (p < 0.001), as did children (p = 0.04) and adult (p = 0.005) patients relative to neonates.
Risk factors for readmission include a history of cardiac surgery, longer length of stay, and co-morbid conditions. This information may serve to guide efforts to prevent readmission and inform resource allocation in the transition of care to the outpatient setting. This study also demonstrated the feasibility of linking a national subspecialty registry to a clinical and administrative data repository to follow longitudinal outcomes of interest.
CHD is the most common birth defect type, with one-fourth of patients requiring intervention in the first year of life. Caregiver understanding of CHD may vary. Health literacy may be one factor contributing to this variability.
The study occurred at a large, free-standing children’s hospital. Recruitment occurred at a free-of-charge CHD camp and during outpatient cardiology follow-up visits. The study team revised the CHD Guided Questions Tool from an eighth- to a sixth-grade reading level. Caregivers of children with CHD completed the “Newest Vital Sign” health literacy screen and demographic surveys. Health literacy was categorised as “high” (Newest Vital Sign score 4–6) or “low” (score 0–3). Caregivers were randomised to read either the original or revised Guided Questions Tool and completed a validated survey measuring understandability and actionability of the Guided Questions Tool. Understandability and actionability data analysis used two-sample t-testing, and within demographic group differences in these parameters were assessed via one-way analysis of variance.
Eighty-two caregivers participated who were largely well educated with a high income. The majority (79.3%) of participants scored “high” for health literacy. No differences in understanding (p = 0.43) or actionability (p = 0.11) of the original and revised Guided Questions Tool were noted. There were no socio-economic-based differences in understandability or actionability (p > 0.05). There was a trend towards improved understanding of the revised tool (p = 0.06).
This study demonstrated that readability of the Guided Questions Tool could be improved. Future work is needed to expand the study population and further understand health literacy’s impact on the CHD community.
A 16-year-old girl with history of treated congenital mitral valve disease and signs of respiratory infection was admitted to our paediatric cardiology department. She was tested positive for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. Despite her severe pre-existing cardiac conditions with pulmonary hypertension, atrial arrhythmias and mitral valve stenosis, the infection did not lead to any cardiac or pulmonary deterioration. In adults, cardiac co-morbidities are known risk factors for a severe course of coronavirus disease 2019 infections. This case illustrates that in children even severe cardiac disease is not necessarily associated with a severe course of coronavirus disease 2019.