Journal Watch

Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Collections of Genetic Heritage: The Legal, Ethical and Practical Considerations of a Dynamic Consent Approach to Decision Making.

J Law Med Ethics. 2020 Mar;48(1):205-217

Authors: Prictor M, Huebner S, Teare HJA, Burchill L, Kaye J

Dynamic Consent (DC) is both a model and a specific web-based tool that enables clear, granular communication and recording of participant consent choices over time. The DC model enables individuals to know and to decide how personal research information is being used and provides a way in which to exercise legal rights provided in privacy and data protection law. The DC tool is flexible and responsive, enabling legal and ethical requirements in research data sharing to be met and for online health information to be maintained. DC has been used in rare diseases and genomics, to enable people to control and express their preferences regarding their own data. However, DC has never been explored in relationship to historical collections of bioscientific and genetic heritage or to contexts involving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (First Peoples of Australia). In response to the growing interest by First Peoples throughout Australia in genetic and genomic research, and the increasing number of invitations from researchers to participate in community health and wellbeing projects, this article examines the legal and ethical attributes and challenges of DC in these contexts. It also explores opportunities for including First Peoples' cultural perspectives, governance, and leadership as a method for defining (or redefining) DC on cultural terms that engage best practice research and data analysis as well as respect for meaningful and longitudinal individual and family participation.

PMID: 32342777 [PubMed - in process]

Transcatheter biventricular conversion in an adult patient with a 1.5 ventricle Glenn palliation and superior vena cava syndrome.

Catheter Cardiovasc Interv. 2020 Apr 28;:

Authors: Tannous P, Popescu A, Forbess L, Nugent A

Covered stents have a continually expanding spectrum of applications for patients with congenital heart disease. Here we report use of covered stents to successfully perform a first-in-human percutaneous biventricular conversion of a 1.5 ventricle Glenn palliation in an adult born with pulmonary atresia. This case demonstrates that in patients considered borderline for biventricular repair, surgery can potentially be modified to promote growth of underdeveloped structures and setup for transcatheter biventricular conversion.

PMID: 32343465 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

Continuous postoperative pericardial flushing method versus standard care for wound drainage after adult cardiac surgery: A randomized controlled trial.

EBioMedicine. 2020 Apr 25;55:102744

Authors: Diephuis E, de Borgie C, Tomšič A, Winkelman J, van Boven WJ, Bouma B, Eberl S, Juffermans N, Schultz M, Henriques JP, Koolbergen D

BACKGROUND: Excessive bleeding, incomplete wound drainage, and subsequent accumulation of blood and clots in the pericardium have been associated with a broad spectrum of bleeding-related complications after cardiac surgery. We developed and studied the continuous postoperative pericardial flushing (CPPF) method to improve wound drainage and reduce blood loss and bleeding-related complications.
METHODS: We conducted a single-center, open-label, ITT, randomized controlled trial at the Academic Medical Center Amstserdam. Adults undergoing cardiac surgery for non-emergent valvular or congenital heart disease (CHD) were randomly assigned (1:1) to receive CPPF method or standard care. The primary outcome was actual blood loss after 12-hour stay in the intensive care unit (ICU). Secondary outcomes included bleeding-related complications and clinical outcome after six months follow-up.
FINDINGS: Between May 2013 and February 2016, 170 patients were randomly allocated to CPPF method (study group; n = 80) or to standard care (control group; n = 90). CPPF significantly reduced blood loss after 12-hour stay in the ICU (-41%) when compared to standard care (median differences -155 ml, 95% confidence interval (CI) -310 to 0; p=≤0·001). Cardiac tamponade and reoperation for bleeding did not occur in the study group versus one and three in the control group, respectively. At discharge from hospital, patients in the study group were less likely to have pleural effusion in a surgically opened pleural cavity (22% vs. 36%; p = 0·043).
INTERPRETATION: Our study results indicate that CPPF is a safe and effective method to improve chest tube patency and reduce blood loss after cardiac surgery. Larger trials are needed to draw final conclusions concerning the effectiveness of CPPF on clinically relevant outcomes.

PMID: 32344201 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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Birth weight in pregnancies complicated by maternal heart disease.

Heart. 2019 03;105(5):391-398

Authors: Cauldwell M, Steer P, Sterrenburg M, Wallace S, Malin G, Ulivi G, Everett T, Jakes AD, Head CEG, Mohan AR, Haynes S, Simpson M, Brennand J, Johnson MR

OBJECTIVE: To assess median and percentile birthweight distribution in women with various groups of heart disease relative to a contemporaneous comparison group.
METHODS: Data on birth weight and gestational age were collected from 1321 pregnancies ≥24 weeks' gestation in 1053 women with heart disease from seven UK maternity units. Women were assigned to one of 16 groups according to their cardiac lesion. In units where it was possible, data on two births, one delivering before and one after index cases, were collected, giving 2307 comparators. Birthweight percentiles (corrected for gestational age, sex and parity) were calculated using Aberdeen norms. We assessed the association of birth weight with cardiac lesion, maternal hypoxaemia (saturations <90%), systemic ventricular function and beta-blockers.
RESULTS: 1321 pregnancies in women with heart disease and 2307 comparators were studied. Almost all groups with heart disease had lower median and percentile birth weights than comparators, significantly in 10 groups, the biggest effect seen in women with Fontan circulation, pulmonary hypertension, prosthetic heart valves, systemic right ventricle, Marfan syndrome, repaired tetralogy of Fallot and cardiomyopathy (in that order). In 307 pregnancies, women took beta-blockers; median birth weight adjusted for maternal age, parity and the effect of the cardiac lesion was 3116.7 g (IQR 790.4) when beta-blockers were used and 3354.3 g (IQR 634.1) when they were not (p<0.001). 17 women had saturations <90%, and median birth weight was significantly lower, 3105.4 g (IQR 1288.9) versus 3387.7 g (IQR 729.8) (p=0.006).
CONCLUSION: Our findings identify specific groups of women with heart disease at risk of having a small baby.

PMID: 30242140 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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Therapeutic apheresis during pregnancy: A single center experience.

Transfus Apher Sci. 2019 Oct;58(5):652-658

Authors: Colpo A, Marson P, Pavanello F, Tison T, Gervasi MT, Zambon A, Ruffatti A, De Silvestro G, Hoxha A

INTRODUCTION: Therapeutic apheresis (TA) represents a treatment option for pre-existing conditions or diseases occurring during gestation. Although pregnancy is not a contraindication per se, due to the lack of evidence-based guidelines and presumed risk of maternal/fetal adverse events there is a general resistance to its application.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Between January 2005 and August 2017, at the Apheresis Unit of the University Hospital of Padua 936 TA procedures were performed during 57 pregnancies in 48 patients: 813 Plasma Exchange sessions, 119 Immunoadsorptions, 4 Red Blood Cell exchanges. The treated disease were as follows: antiphospholipid syndrome (18 patients), autoimmune congenital heart block (18), myasthenia gravis (3), Rh alloimmunization (2), systemic sclerosis (1), suspected autoimmune encephalitis (1), severe hypertriglyceridaemia (1), post partum hemolytic-uremic syndrome (1), sickle cell disease (1), lupus nephritis (1) and thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (1).
RESULTS: In the time period considered the apheresis sessions applied to pregnant women were 7.1% of the total (n = 13.251). The median age at the first treatment was 33 years. The median week of gestation (WG) at the beginning of treatments was 21. Twenty (2.1%) sessions were complicated by adverse events, none requiring or prolonging hospitalization. There were 50 live births, 5 spontaneous abortions and 2 voluntary terminations of pregnancy. Median WG at delivery was 35 and caesarean section was performed in 46 cases.
CONCLUSIONS: Our data showed that TA in pregnancy is well tolerated. Close collaboration between clinician, obstetrician and TA specialist is crucial to ensure a good outcome of high-risk pregnancies.

PMID: 31522920 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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The Year in Review: Anesthesia for Congenital Heart Disease 2019.

Semin Cardiothorac Vasc Anesth. 2020 Apr 29;:1089253220920476

Authors: Houska NM, Schwartz LI

This review focuses on the literature published from January 2019 to February 2020 that is of interest to anesthesiologists taking care of children and adults with congenital heart disease. Five themes are addressed during this time period, and 59 peer-reviewed articles are discussed.

PMID: 32347188 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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Clinical heterogeneity of Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension associated with variants in TBX4.

PLoS One. 2020;15(4):e0232216

Authors: Hernandez-Gonzalez I, Tenorio J, Palomino-Doza J, Martinez Meñaca A, Morales Ruiz R, Lago-Docampo M, Valverde Gomez M, Gomez Roman J, Enguita Valls AB, Perez-Olivares C, Valverde D, Gil Carbonell J, Garrido-Lestache Rodríguez-Monte E, Del Cerro MJ, Lapunzina P, Escribano-Subias P

BACKGROUND: The knowledge of hereditary predisposition has changed our understanding of Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension. Genetic testing has been widely extended and the application of Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension specific gene panels has allowed its inclusion in the diagnostic workup and increase the diagnostic ratio compared to the traditional sequencing techniques. This is particularly important in the differential diagnosis between Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension and Pulmonary Venoocclusive Disease.
METHODS: Since November 2011, genetic testing is offered to all patients with idiopathic, hereditable and associated forms of Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension or Pulmonary Venoocclusive Disease included in the Spanish Registry of Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension. Herein, we present the clinical phenotype and prognosis of all Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension patients with disease-associated variants in TBX4.
RESULTS: Out of 579 adults and 45 children, we found in eight patients from seven families, disease-causing associated variants in TBX4. All adult patients had a moderate-severe reduction in diffusion capacity. However, we observed a wide spectrum of clinical presentations, including Pulmonary Venoocclusive Disease suspicion, interstitial lung disease, pulmonary vascular abnormalities and congenital heart disease.
CONCLUSIONS: Genetic testing is now essential for a correct diagnosis work-up in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension. TBX4-associated Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension has marked clinical heterogeneity. In this regard, a genetic study is extremely useful to obtain an accurate diagnosis and provide appropriate management.

PMID: 32348326 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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Anesthesia for Pediatric Heart Transplantation: Are Patients With a Failing Hemi-Fontan- or Fontan-Physiology Different?

Semin Cardiothorac Vasc Anesth. 2019 Dec;23(4):393-398

Authors: Mueller MF, Paul AC, Mann V, Koerner CM, Valeske K, Thul J, Mazhari N, Bauer J, Schranz D, Akintuerk H

Background. The absolute number of patients presenting with failure of the hemi-Fontan or Fontan circulation for cardiac transplantation (cTx) will continuously rise. We aimed to analyze the intraoperative differences in patients undergoing cTx for a failing hemi-Fontan or Fontan circulation (group A) with those undergoing cTx for cardiomyopathy and congenital heart disease (group B). Methods. Data of patients undergoing cTx during a 10-year period were compared between group A and group B patients. Results. cTx was performed in 83 patients (group A, n = 21; group B, n = 62). Surgical times including median incision-suture time (549 minutes vs 386 minutes, P < .05) and median organ ischemia time (305 minutes vs 233 minutes, P < .05) were longer in group A patients. After weaning off cardiopulmonary bypass a higher median modified Vasoactive Inotropic Score (16 vs 10, P < .05) was necessary in group A patients. During surgery more fresh frozen plasma (44 mL/kg vs 20 mL/kg, P < .05), platelet concentrates (20 mL/kg vs 14 mL/kg, P < .05), and coagulation factor concentrates were given in group A patients. Mortality during the first 90 days after cTx was higher in group A (23.8% vs 6.5%, P < .05). Conclusion. Patients undergoing cTx for a failing hemi-Fontan or Fontan circulation are challenging. They require an intensive vasoactive and inotropic support; furthermore, special attention should be paid to the management of bleeding complications. cTx for this group of patients is associated with higher 90 days mortality.

PMID: 31431128 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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Klippel-Trenaunay syndrome as a rare cause of chronic thromboemboembolic pulmonary hypertension.

Respir Med Res. 2019 Nov;76:48-53

Authors: Seferian A, Jaïs X, Savale L, Jevnikar M, Ghigna MR, Weatherald J, Assoun S, Fadel E, Simonneau G, Sitbon O, Humbert M, Montani D

Klippel-Trenaunay syndrome (KTS) is a congenital disorder characterized by cutaneous capillary malformations, soft tissue and bone hypertrophy, and multiple capillary, venous or lymphatic malformations. KTS is associated with recurrent thromboembolic events. We reported herein five cases of chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH) associated with KTS (age minimum-maximum 26-50 years old, 3 males/2 females). Hemodynamics showed severe pulmonary hypertension (PH) with pulmonary vascular resistance ranging from 5.6 to 18.3 Wood units (WU), associated with marked clinical impairment (NYHA functional class III or IV in 4 patients). Computed tomography (CT) of the chest and pulmonary angiography confirmed proximal CTEPH accessible to surgical intervention in one patient and distal forms of CTEPH in 4 patients. Evolution after pulmonary endarterectomy showed hemodynamic normalization, while the patients with distal CTEPH had severe outcomes with 2 early deaths after PH diagnosis (44 and 35 months respectively). One patient with distal CTEPH was still alive 16 years after diagnosis on specific PH therapy and one was transplanted after 15 years because of right heart failure (death after 12 months). Histological analysis of the lung explants showed typical chronic thromboembolic material specific for CTEPH. In conclusion, KTS may be complicated by severe CTEPH requiring careful anticoagulation and multidisciplinary follow-up in expert centers to screen for disease potentially accessible to endarterectomy. In the modern management era of CTEPH, balloon pulmonary angioplasty will certainly be an interesting option in patients with inoperable disease.

PMID: 31557688 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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Contraceptive methods of privately insured US women with congenital heart defects.

Am Heart J. 2020 04;222:38-45

Authors: Anderson KN, Tepper NK, Downing K, Ailes EC, Abarbanell G, Farr SL

BACKGROUND: The American Heart Association recommends women with congenital heart defects (CHD) receive contraceptive counseling early in their reproductive years, but little is known about contraceptive method use among women with CHD. We describe recent female sterilization and reversible prescription contraceptive method use by presence of CHD and CHD severity in 2014.
METHODS: Using IBM MarketScan Commercial Databases, we included women aged 15 to 44 years with prescription drug coverage in 2014 who were enrolled ≥11 months annually in employer-sponsored health plans between 2011 and 2014. CHD, CHD severity, contraceptive methods, and obstetrics-gynecology and cardiology provider encounters were identified using billing codes. We used log-binomial regression to calculate adjusted prevalence ratios (aPRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) to compare contraceptive method use overall and by effectiveness tier by CHD presence and, for women with CHD, severity.
RESULTS: Recent sterilization or current reversible prescription contraceptive method use varied slightly among women with (39.2%) and without (37.3%) CHD, aPR = 1.04, 95% CI [1.01-1.07]. Women with CHD were more likely to use any Tier I method (12.9%) than women without CHD (9.3%), aPR = 1.41, 95% CI [1.33-1.50]. Women with severe, compared to non-severe, CHD were less likely to use any method, aPR = 0.85, 95% CI [0.78-0.92], or Tier I method, aPR = 0.84, 95% CI [0.70-0.99]. Approximately 60% of women with obstetrics-gynecology and <40% with cardiology encounters used any included method.
CONCLUSIONS: There may be missed opportunities for providers to improve uptake of safe, effective contraceptive methods for women with CHD who wish to avoid pregnancy.

PMID: 32014720 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]