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Congenital Heart Disease.

Pediatr Rev. 2017 Oct;38(10):471-486

Authors: Puri K, Allen HD, Qureshi AM

PMID: 28972050 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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Three-dimensional printed models for surgical planning of complex congenital heart defects: an international multicentre study.

Eur J Cardiothorac Surg. 2017 Dec 01;52(6):1139-1148

Authors: Valverde I, Gomez-Ciriza G, Hussain T, Suarez-Mejias C, Velasco-Forte MN, Byrne N, Ordoñez A, Gonzalez-Calle A, Anderson D, Hazekamp MG, Roest AAW, Rivas-Gonzalez J, Uribe S, El-Rassi I, Simpson J, Miller O, Ruiz E, Zabala I, Mendez A, Manso B, Gallego P, Prada F, Cantinotti M, Ait-Ali L, Merino C, Parry A, Poirier N, Greil G, Razavi R, Gomez-Cia T, Hosseinpour AR

OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the impact of 3D printed models (3D models) on surgical planning in complex congenital heart disease (CHD).
METHODS: A prospective case-crossover study involving 10 international centres and 40 patients with complex CHD (median age 3 years, range 1 month-34 years) was conducted. Magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography were used to acquire and segment the 3D cardiovascular anatomy. Models were fabricated by fused deposition modelling of polyurethane filament, and dimensions were compared with medical images. Decisions after the evaluation of routine clinical images were compared with those after inspection of the 3D model and intraoperative findings. Subjective satisfaction questionnaire was provided.
RESULTS: 3D models accurately replicate anatomy with a mean bias of -0.27 ± 0.73 mm. Ninety-six percent of the surgeons agree or strongly agree that 3D models provided better understanding of CHD morphology and improved surgical planning. 3D models changed the surgical decision in 19 of the 40 cases. Consideration of a 3D model refined the planned biventricular repair, achieving an improved surgical correction in 8 cases. In 4 cases initially considered for conservative management or univentricular palliation, inspection of the 3D model enabled successful biventricular repair.
CONCLUSIONS: 3D models are accurate replicas of the cardiovascular anatomy and improve the understanding of complex CHD. 3D models did not change the surgical decision in most of the cases (21 of 40 cases, 52.5% cases). However, in 19 of the 40 selected complex cases, 3D model helped redefining the surgical approach.

PMID: 28977423 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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Health-related quality of life in congenital heart disease surgery patients in Pakistan: protocol for a mixed-methods study.

BMJ Open. 2017 Oct 30;7(10):e018046

Authors: Ladak LA, Hasan BS, Gullick J, Awais K, Abdullah A, Gallagher R

INTRODUCTION: Reduced health-related quality of life (HRQOL) has been reported in postoperative patients with congenital heart disease (CHD). However, there is a paucity of data from low-income and middle-income countries (LMIC). Differences in sociodemographics and sociocultural contexts may influence HRQOL. This protocol paper describes a study exploring HRQOL in surgical patients with CHD from a tertiary hospital in Pakistan. The study findings will assist development of strategies to improve HRQOL in a resource-constrained context.
METHODS AND ANALYSIS: This prospective, concurrent triangulation, mixed-methods study aims to compare HRQOL of postsurgery patients with CHD with age-matched healthy siblings and to identify HRQOL predictors. A qualitative component aims to further understand HRQOL data by exploring the experiences related to CHD surgery for patients and parents. Participants include patients with CHD (a minimum of n~95) with at least 1-year postsurgery follow-up and no chromosomal abnormality, their parents and age-matched, healthy siblings. PedsQL 4.0 Generic Core Scales, PedsQL Cognitive Functioning Scale and PedsQL 3.0 Cardiac Module will measure HRQOL. Clinical/surgical data will be retrieved from patients' medical files. Student's t-test will be used to compare the difference in the means of HRQOL between CHD and siblings. Multiple regression will identify HRQOL predictors. A subsample of enrolled patients (n~20) and parents (n~20) from the quantitative arm will be engaged in semistructured qualitative interviews, which will be analysed using directed content analysis. Anticipated challenges include patient recruitment due to irregular follow-up compliance. Translation of data collection tools to the Urdu language and back-translation of interviews increases the study complexity.
ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Ethics approval has been obtained from The Aga Khan University, Pakistan (3737-Ped-ERC-15). Study findings will be published in peer-reviewed journals and presented at national and international conferences.

PMID: 29084799 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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Fractal analysis of left ventricular trabeculations is associated with impaired myocardial deformation in healthy Chinese.

J Cardiovasc Magn Reson. 2017 Dec 14;19(1):102

Authors: Cai J, Bryant JA, Le TT, Su B, de Marvao A, O'Regan DP, Cook SA, Chin CW

BACKGROUND: Left ventricular (LV) non-compaction (LVNC) is defined by extreme LV trabeculation, but is measured variably. Here we examined the relationship between quantitative measurement in LV trabeculation and myocardial deformation in health and disease and determined the clinical utility of semi-automated assessment of LV trabeculations.
METHODS: Cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) was performed in 180 healthy Singaporean Chinese (age 20-69 years; males, n = 91), using balanced steady state free precession cine imaging at 3T. The degree of LV trabeculation was assessed by fractal dimension (FD) as a robust measure of trabeculation complexity using a semi-automated technique. FD measures were determined in healthy men and women to derive normal reference ranges. Myocardial deformation was evaluated using feature tracking. We tested the utility of this algorithm and the normal ranges in 10 individuals with confirmed LVNC (non-compacted/compacted; NC/C ratio > 2.3 and ≥1 risk factor for LVNC) and 13 individuals with suspected disease (NC/C ratio > 2.3).
RESULTS: Fractal analysis is a reproducible means of assessing LV trabeculation extent (intra-class correlation coefficient: intra-observer, 0.924, 95% CI [0.761-0.973]; inter-observer, 0.925, 95% CI [0.821-0.970]). The overall extent of LV trabeculation (global FD: 1.205 ± 0.031) was independently associated with increased indexed LV end-diastolic volume and mass (sβ = 0.35; p < 0.001 and sβ = 0.13; p < 0.01, respectively) after adjusting for age, sex and body mass index. Increased LV trabeculation was independently associated with reduced global circumferential strain (sβ = 0.17, p = 0.013) and global diastolic circumferential and radial strain rates (sβ = 0.25, p < 0.001 and sβ = -0.15, p = 0.049, respectively). Abnormally high FD was observed in all patients with a confirmed diagnosis of LVNC. Five out of 13 individuals with suspected LVNC had normal FD, despite NC/C > 2.3.
CONCLUSION: This study defines the normal range of LV trabeculation in healthy Chinese that can be used to make or refute a diagnosis of LVNC using the fractal analysis tool, which we make freely available. We also show that increased myocardial trabeculation is associated with higher LV volumes, mass and reduced myocardial strain.

PMID: 29241460 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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Clinical yield of fetal echocardiography for suboptimal cardiac visualization on obstetric ultrasound.

Congenit Heart Dis. 2018 May;13(3):407-412

Authors: Vavolizza RD, Dar P, Suskin B, Moore RM, Stern KWD

OBJECTIVE: Suboptimal cardiac imaging on obstetric ultrasound is a frequent referral indication for fetal echocardiography, even in the absence of typical risk factors for fetal cardiac disease. The clinical profile of patients and findings of examinations performed for such an indication are not well defined. Given the increased cost, time and resource utilization of fetal echocardiography, we sought to determine the clinical findings of such referrals.
STUDY DESIGN: We performed a single-center review of such referrals from January 2010 to June 2016. Patients with commonly accepted indications for fetal echocardiography were excluded. Demographic variables and echocardiogram findings were collected. Findings were classified as (1) "normal," (2) "probably normal," if minor pathology could not confidently be excluded, or if minor findings were noted that were expected to resolve, or (3) "abnormal." Rates of pathology were determined with comparison of nonobese and obese populations.
RESULTS: A total of 583 gestations in 562 women were included (median gestational age 23.3 weeks, range 19.0-38.4). The median body mass index (BMI) was 34.6 kg/m2 (range 17.2-66.3 kg/m2 ). The majority of women were obese (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m2 in 74.6%). Overall, 574 of 583 examinations (98.5%) were normal or "probably normal." Pathology was noted in 9 fetuses (1.5%), 3 of whom required intervention (0.5%). No ductal dependent lesions were diagnosed. There was no significant difference in pathology rates between nonobese and obese mothers.
CONCLUSIONS: We found a low fetal cardiac anomaly rate in studies performed for suboptimal views on obstetric ultrasound. The majority of women referred for this indication were obese. The practice of routine referral for this indication deserves further evaluation.

PMID: 29372591 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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Decreased inappropriate shocks with new generation ICDs in children and patients with congenital heart disease.

Congenit Heart Dis. 2018 May;13(3):413-418

Authors: Goldstein SA, LaPage MJ, Dechert BE, Serwer GA, Yu S, Lowery RE, Bradley DJ

OBJECTIVE: Inappropriate implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) shocks in children and patients with congenital heart disease (CHD) remain a major complication of device therapy, occurring in as many as 50% of children with ICDs. New generation devices include algorithms designed to minimize inappropriate shocks. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of new generation ICDs on the incidence of inappropriate shocks in the pediatric and CHD population.
DESIGN: Retrospective study of patients with CHD or under age 25 receiving ICDs between 2000 and 2015. New generation ICDs were defined as those with Medtronic "SmartShock" algorithms.
RESULTS: Two hundred eight devices were implanted in 146 patients. Rates of inappropriate shocks were similar between diagnoses (P = .71). The rate of inappropriate shock was 15% over median 5.8 years follow-up. In the 36 patients (25%) with new generation ICDs, the rate of inappropriate shock was 6.3% over 4 years. Comparing old to new generation ICDs, freedom from first inappropriate shock was 90.6% versus 97.1% at 1 year and 80.4% versus 97.1% at 3 years (P = .01). Lead fracture was associated with having inappropriate shock (hazard ratio 8.5, P < .0001), and there was no significant difference between the device groups when lead fractures were excluded. Clinical actions were taken in 69% of patients after initial inappropriate shock (such as medication or program change, system revision, or explant). When an action was taken, subsequent inappropriate shock was reduced (5.3% vs 49.2% at 1 year; P = .002).
CONCLUSIONS: Pediatric and CHD patients are experiencing reduced inappropriate shocks with new generation ICD systems, though reduced lead fracture may account for this improvement. Clinical interventions after inappropriate shock favorably impact the subsequent rate of shocks once an inappropriate shock occurs.

PMID: 29372620 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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Prevalence of left ventricular hypertrabeculation/noncompaction among children with sickle cell disease.

Congenit Heart Dis. 2018 May;13(3):440-443

Authors: Morrison ML, McMahon C, Tully R, Enright N, Pignatelli R, Towbin JA, McMahon CJ

OBJECTIVES: Incidence of sickle cell disease (SCD) in Ireland has dramatically increased. Disease survival has also steadily improved however cardiovascular manifestations remain important causes of morbidity. These include reports of left ventricular hypertrabeculation (LVHT)/noncompaction. We sought to investigate the prevalence of LVHT among a large cohort of children with SCD.
METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed the records of all patients with a diagnosis of SCD who had undergone surveillance echocardiography at Our Lady's Children's Hospital Crumlin (OLCHC) from 1998 to 2015. Demographics, hemoglobin phenotype and treatment information was recorded. LV systolic function, evidence of LVHT, and possible pulmonary arterial hypertension was assessed.
RESULTS: Two hundred thirty-six patients had echocardiograms available for interpretation. One hundred twenty-one (51.3%) were female; mean age was 11.3 years (± 4.1 years). Twenty-six patients (11%) had features of LVHT on echocardiography. Eleven patients (4.7%) had borderline features of LVHT. Mean LVEDD across the whole cohort was 4.2 ± 0.69 cm, LVEDD z-score of 1.44 ± 1.9, and mean LVSF was 37.3% ±15.7%. There were no significant differences in terms of age, LVEDD, LVEDD z-score, or LVSF between patients with and those without LVHT.
CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of LVHT/noncompaction in children with SCD is lower than the adult population and LV systolic function is well preserved throughout our patient group. The mechanism behind the development of LVHT in this population remains speculative. Further work is required in this field. Sickle cell patients require longitudinal evaluation to ascertain changes in left ventricular function and the presence of LVHT/noncompaction.

PMID: 29468808 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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Optimus covered stent: Advanced covered stent technology for complex congenital heart disease.

Congenit Heart Dis. 2018 May;13(3):458-462

Authors: Morgan GJ, Ciuffreda M, Spadoni I, DeGiovanni J

AIM: To assess the acute results of the first human use of the Optimus covered stent in complex coarctation of the aorta.
METHODS AND RESULTS: We successfully implanted the Optimus covered stent in eight cases in patients whose preprocedural anatomy looked challenging for currently available covered stents. Six of the patients had native coarctation with one recoarctation following surgical repair. There were no significant complications with reduction in the mean invasive gradient from 22 to 1 mm Hg. The length of stents used ranged from 33 to 57 mm with a median shortening after expansion of 13%. Postprocedural follow-up with magnetic resonance imaging or computed tomography has not shown evidence of fracture or migration or renarrowing. The median duration of follow-up is 10 months.
CONCLUSIONS: Preliminary results show that the Optimus covered stent is safe and efficacious for use in patients with coarctation of challenging morphology. A systemic trial will be required to evaluate this stent for more widespread practice.

PMID: 29468813 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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Disease progression and variation in clinical practice for isolated bicuspid aortic valve in children.

Congenit Heart Dis. 2018 May;13(3):432-439

Authors: Yamauchi MSW, Puchalski MD, Weng HT, Pinto NM, Etheridge SP, Presson AP, Tani LY, Minich LL, Williams RV

BACKGROUND: Disease progression of an isolated bicuspid aortic valve (BAV) in children is poorly understood and adult management guidelines may not be applicable. Thus, we sought to evaluate disease progression of pediatric isolated BAV and its relationship to current management practices.
METHODS: Children with a BAV and ≤mild aortic stenosis (AS) and/or aortic regurgitation (AR) at the time of initial evaluation were included in this retrospective cohort study (1/2005-12/2014). Outcomes included change in z-scores for aortic root and ascending aorta diameters, cardiac interventions, adverse outcomes, recommended follow-up interval, and frequency of cardiac imaging studies at each follow up evaluation, as well as AS/AR severity at final evaluation. Outcomes were analyzed using generalized mixed-effect models with subject and provider clustering.
RESULTS: BAV disease progression was evaluated in 294 subjects over 4.1 ± 2.4 (range 0.2-9.5) years. Ascending aorta z-scores increased by 0.1/year (P < .001) but aortic root diameter z-scores were unchanged. AS and/or AR progressed to >mild in 9 (3%), 1 subject underwent cardiac intervention, and none had a major complication. Management was evaluated in 454 subjects (1343 encounters) with 27 different cardiologists. The average recommended follow-up interval was 1.5 ± 0.9 years. Younger age at diagnosis, greater aortic root or ascending aorta z-score at diagnosis, ≥mild AS/AR at follow-up, and earlier diagnosis era were associated with shorter recommended follow-up interval (P < .001 for all). Imaging was obtained at 87% of follow-up encounters and was associated with age at encounter with children ≥12 years most frequently imaged (P < .001). Provider accounted for 14% of variability in recommended follow-up interval and 24% of imaging variability (P < .001 for both).
CONCLUSIONS: We found little to no evidence of disease progression in children with an isolated BAV. Given the low risk, close follow-up and frequent cardiac imaging for BAV surveillance may not be warranted for children.

PMID: 29468829 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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Insurance access in adults with congenital heart disease in the Affordable Care Act era.

Congenit Heart Dis. 2018 May;13(3):384-391

Authors: Lin CJ, Novak E, Rich MW, Billadello JJ

BACKGROUND: Adults with congenital heart disease (ACHD) have traditionally been viewed as an underinsured population. Whether this is true in the Affordable Care Act era is unknown. We determined insurance patterns in ACHD patients compared to the non-ACHD cardiology population in a contemporary cohort.
METHODS: All cardiology outpatient visits between July 2016 and February 2017 to a large referral center in the United States were reviewed. The primary payer was categorized as health maintenance organization (HMO), preferred provider organization (PPO), Medicare, Medicaid, self-pay, or other. Diagnosis and lesion severity of ACHD were extracted from ICD-10 diagnostic codes and assigned according to the 2008 American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association ACHD guidelines. Age-matching was used to account for baseline age differences between ACHD and non-ACHD patients.
RESULTS: E ACHD and 17 154 non-ACHD patients were identified. Without age-matching, ACHD patients were significantly younger than non-ACHD patients (mean age 38.5 vs 63.8 years). After age-matching (N = 805 in each group), mean age was 39.5 years in both groups. ACHD patients had less HMO (29.1% vs 34.7%, P = .012) and Medicaid (12.4% vs 17.3%, P = .006) coverage, but more PPO (34.4% vs 27.5%, P = .003) and Medicare (23.2% vs 18.1%, P = .005) coverage compared to non-ACHD patients. No differences were found in private insurance, public insurance, or self-pay. Lesion complexity had no effect on insurance in ACHD patients. Eligibility of parental plan coverage did not affect use of private insurance. ACHD patients in states with Medicaid expansion had higher rates of Medicaid (15.6% vs 10.6%, P = .045) but lower rates of HMO coverage (24.5% vs 31.7%, P = .036) and self-pay (0% vs 3.3%, P < .001). ACHD status, age, income, and residence in Medicaid expansion states were independent determinants of insurance types.
CONCLUSIONS: In the Affordable Care Act era, ACHD patients are a well-insured population. Governmental policy has substantial effects on individual-level choice and access to insurance.

PMID: 29480975 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]