Perioperative management of pediatric en-bloc combined heart-liver transplants: a case series review. Paediatric anaesthesia 2016; 26 (10): 976-986
Combined heart and liver transplantation (CHLT) in the pediatric population involves a complex group of patients, many of whom have palliated congenital heart disease (CHD) involving single ventricle physiology.The purpose of this study was to describe the perioperative management of pediatric patients undergoing CHLT at a single institution and to identify management strategies that may be used to optimize perioperative care.We did a retrospective database review of all patients receiving CHLT at a children's hospital between 2006 and 2014. Information collected included preoperative characteristics, intraoperative management, blood transfusions, and postoperative morbidity and mortality.Five pediatric CHLTs were performed over an 8-year period. All patients had a history of complex CHD with multiple sternotomies, three of whom had failing Fontan physiology. Patient age ranged from 7 to 23 years and weight from 29.5 to 68.5 kg. All CHLTs were performed using an en-bloc technique where both the donor heart and liver were implanted together on cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB). The median operating room time was 14.25 h, median CPB time was 3.58 h, and median donor ischemia time was 4.13 h. Patients separated from CPB on dopamine, epinephrine, and milrinone infusions and two required inhaled nitric oxide. All patients received a massive intraoperative blood transfusion post CPB with amounts ranging from one to three times the patient's estimated blood volume. The patient who required the most transfusions was in decompensated heart and liver failure preoperatively. Four of the five patients received an antifibrinolytic agent as well as a procoagulant (prothrombin complex concentrate or recombinant activated Factor VII) to assist with hemostasis. There were no 30-day thromboembolic events detected. Postoperatively the median length of mechanical ventilation, ICU stay and stay to hospital discharge was 4, 8, and 37 days, respectively. All patients are alive and free from allograft rejection at this time.Combined heart and liver transplantation in the pediatric population involves a complex group of patients with unique perioperative challenges. Successful management starts with thorough preoperative planning and communication and involves strategies to deal with massive intraoperative hemorrhage and coagulopathy in addition to protecting and supporting the transplanted heart and liver and meticulous surgical technique. An integrated multidisciplinary team approach is the cornerstone for successful outcomes.
View details for DOI 10.1111/pan.12950
View details for PubMedID 27402424
HeartWare HVAD for Biventricular Support in Children and Adolescents: The Stanford Experience. ASAIO journal 2016; 62 (5): e46-51
Despite increasing use of mechanical circulatory support in children, experience with biventricular device implantation remains limited. We describe our experience using the HeartWare HVAD to provide biventricular support to 3 patients and compare these patients with 5 patients supported with HeartWare LVAD. At the end of the study period, all three BiVAD patients had been transplanted and were alive. LVAD patients were out of bed and ambulating a median of 10.5 days post implantation. The BiVAD patients were out of bed a median of 31 days post implantation. Pediatric patients with both left ventricular and biventricular heart failure can be successfully bridged to transplantation with the HeartWare HVAD. Rapid improvement in functional status following HVAD implantation for isolated left ventricular support is seen. Patients supported with BiVAD also demonstrate functional recovery, albeit more modestly. In the absence of infection, systemic inflammatory response raises concern for inadequate support.
View details for DOI 10.1097/MAT.0000000000000356
View details for PubMedID 26919182
Recovery From Acute Kidney Injury and CKD Following Heart Transplantation in Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults: A Retrospective Cohort Study. American journal of kidney diseases 2016; 68 (2): 212-218
Acute kidney injury (AKI) is common in children following surgery for congenital heart disease and has been associated with poor long-term kidney outcomes. Children undergoing heart transplantation may be at increased risk for the development of both AKI and chronic kidney disease (CKD). This study examines AKI rates in children, adolescents, and young adults after heart transplantation and analyzes the relationship between AKI and CKD in this population.Retrospective cohort study.88 young patients who underwent heart transplantation at Lucile Packard Children'sHospital, Stanford, CA, September 1, 2007, to November 30,2013.The primary independent variable was AKI within the first 7 postoperative days, ascertained according to the KDIGO (Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes) creatinine criteria (increase in serum creatinine 1.5 times baseline within 7 days).Recovery from AKI at 3 months, ascertained as serum creatinine level< 1.5 times baseline; and development of CKD at 6 and 12 months, ascertained as estimated glomerular filtration rate< 60mL/min/1.73m(2) for more than 3 months.63 (72%) patients developed AKI; 57% had moderate (stage 2 or severe stage 3) disease. Recoveryoccurred in 39 of 63 (62%), 50% for stage 2 or 3 versus 78% for stage 1 (P=0.04). At 6 and 12 months, 3 of 82 (4%) and 4 of 76 (5%) developed CKD, respectively. At both time points, CKD was more common in those without recovery (3/22 [14%] vs 0/38 (0%); P=0.04, and 3/17 (18%) vs (0/34) 0%; P=0.03, respectively).Retrospective design, small sample size, and single-center nature of the study.AKI is common after heart transplantation in children, adolescents, and young adults. Nonrecovery from AKI is more common in patients with more severe AKI and is associated with the development of CKD during the first year.
View details for DOI 10.1053/j.ajkd.2016.01.024
View details for PubMedID 26970941
Electrocardiographic repolarization abnormalities and increased risk of life-threatening arrhythmias in children with dilated cardiomyopathy HEART RHYTHM 2016; 13 (6): 1289-1296
Life-threatening arrhythmia events (LTEs) occur in ~5% of children with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). While prolonged QRS duration has been shown to be associated with LTEs, electrocardiographic (ECG) repolarization findings have not been examined.We sought to determine the associations between ECG repolarization abnormalities and LTEs in children with DCM.A single-center retrospective review of children with DCM was performed. LTEs were defined as documented ventricular tachycardia or fibrillation requiring medical intervention. Three pediatric cardiologists, blinded to clinical events, evaluated ECGs obtained at the time of initial referral. Kaplan-Meier survival and Cox proportional hazards analyses were used to evaluate time to LTEs.A total of 137 patients (mean age 7.8 6.7 years; 75(55%) male patients) with DCM (mean ejection fraction 35% 16%) were included; 67 patients (49%) had a corrected JT (JTc) interval of 340 ms, 72 (53%) had a corrected QT (QTc) interval of 450 ms, and 41 (30%) had abnormal T waves. LTEs occurred in 15 patients at a median of 12 months (interquartile range 3-36 months) after the initial ECG. Patients with LTEs had a longer JTc interval (371 77 ms vs 342 41 ms; P = .02) and a longer QTc interval (488 96 ms vs 453 44 ms; P = .01). In survival analysis, a JTc interval of 390 ms (hazard ratio [HR] 4.07; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.12-14.83; P = .03), a QTc interval of 510 ms (HR 6.95; 95% CI 1.53-31.49; P = .01), abnormal T-wave inversion (HR 11.62; 95% CI 2.75-49.00; P = .001), and ST-segment depression (HR 6.91; 95% CI 1.25-38.27; P = .03) were associated with an increased risk of LTEs, even after adjusting for QRS duration and amiodarone use.Repolarization abnormalities are common in children with DCM. Certain ECG repolarization abnormalities, such as significantly prolonged JTc and QTc intervals, may be useful in identifying patients at risk of LTEs.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.hrthm.2016.02.014
View details for Web of Science ID 000376334800016
View details for PubMedID 26945851
Compassionate deactivation of ventricular assist devices in pediatric patients JOURNAL OF HEART AND LUNG TRANSPLANTATION 2016; 35 (5): 564-567
Despite greatly improved survival in pediatric patients with end-stage heart failure through the use of ventricular assist devices (VADs), heart failure ultimately remains a life-threatening disease with a significant symptom burden. With increased demand for donor organs, liberalizing the boundaries of case complexity, and the introduction of destination therapy in children, more children can be expected to die while on mechanical support. Despite this trend, guidelines on the ethical and pragmatic issues of compassionate deactivation of VAD support in children are strikingly absent. As VAD support for pediatric patients increases in frequency, the pediatric heart failure and palliative care communities must work toward establishing guidelines to clarify the complex issues surrounding compassionate deactivation. Patient, family and clinician attitudes must be ascertained and education regarding the psychological, legal and ethical issues should be provided. Furthermore, pediatric-specific planning documents for use before VAD implantation as well as deactivation checklists should be developed to assist with decision-making at critical points during the illness trajectory. Herein we review the relevant literature regarding compassionate deactivation with a specific focus on issues related to children.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.healun.2016.03.020
View details for Web of Science ID 000376951900004
View details for PubMedID 27197773
Impact of ventricular assist device placement on longitudinal renal function in children with end-stage heart failure. journal of heart and lung transplantation 2016; 35 (4): 449-456
Although ventricular assist devices (VADs) restore hemodynamics in those with heart failure, reversibility of end-organ dysfunction with VAD support is not well characterized. Renal function often improves in adults after VAD placement, but this has not been comprehensively explored in children.Sixty-three children on VAD support were studied. Acute kidney injury (AKI) was defined by Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes criteria. Estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) was determined by the Schwartz method. Generalized linear mixed-effects models compared the pre-VAD and post-VAD eGFR for the cohort and sub-groups with and without pre-VAD renal dysfunction (pre-VAD eGFR < 90 ml/min/1.73 m(2)).The pre-VAD eGFR across the cohort was 84.0 ml/min/1.73 m(2) (interquartile range [IQR] 62.3-122.7), and 55.6% (34 of 63) had pre-VAD renal dysfunction. AKI affected 60.3% (38 of 63), with similar rates in those with and without pre-existing renal dysfunction. Within the cohort, the nadir eGFR occurred 1 day post-operatively (62.9 ml/min/1.73 m(2); IQR, 51.2-88.9 ml/min/1.73 m(2); p < 0.001). By Day 5, however, the eGFR exceeded the baseline (99.0 ml/min/1.73 m(2); IQR, 59.3-146.7 ml/min/1.73 m(2); p = 0.03) and remained significantly higher through the first post-operative week. After adjusting for age, gender, and AKI, the eGFR continued to increase throughout the entire 180-day study period ( = 0.0025; 95% confidence interval, 0.0015-0.0036; p < 0.001). Patients with pre-VAD renal dysfunction experienced the greatest improvement in the eGFR ( = 0.0051 vs = 0.0013, p < 0.001).Renal dysfunction is prevalent in children with heart failure undergoing VAD placement. Although peri-operative AKI is common, renal function improves substantially in the first post-operative week and for months thereafter. This is particularly pronounced in those with pre-VAD renal impairment, suggesting that VADs may facilitate recovery and maintenance of kidney function in children with advanced heart failure.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.healun.2015.10.039
View details for PubMedID 26653933
Outpatient Outcomes of Pediatric Patients with Left Ventricular Assist Devices. ASAIO journal 2016; 62 (2): 163-168
Outpatient experience of children supported with continuous flow ventricular assist devices (CFVAD) is limited. We reviewed our experience with children discharged with CF-VAD support.All pediatric patients <18 years old with CF-VADs implanted at our institution were included. Discharge criteria included a stable medication regimen, completion of a VAD education program and standardized rehabilitation plan, and presence of a caregiver. Hospital re-admissions (excluding scheduled admissions) were reviewed. Adverse events were defined by INTERMACS criteria.Of 17 patients with CF-VADs, 8(47%) were discharged from the hospital (1 Heartware HVAD, 7 Heartmate II). Median age was 15.3(range 9.6-17.1) years and weight was 50.6(33.6-141) kg. Device strategies were destination therapy (n=4) and bridge to transplant (n=4). Patients spent a median 49(26-107) days hospitalized post-implant and had 2(1-5) hospital re-admissions. Total support duration was 3154 patient-days, with 2413 as outpatient. Most frequent adverse events were device malfunction and arrhythmias. There was one death due to pump thrombosis, and no bleeding or stroke events. Overall adverse event rate was 15.22 per 100-patient-months.Early experience suggests that children with CF-VADs can be safely discharged. Device malfunction and arrhythmia were the most common adverse events but were recognized quickly with structured outpatient surveillance.
View details for DOI 10.1097/MAT.0000000000000324
View details for PubMedID 26720740
Obesity and Premature Loss of Mobility in Two Adolescents with Becker Muscular Dystrophy After HeartMate II Implantation. ASAIO journal 2016; 62 (1): e5-7
Weight gain is common following implantation of continuous flow ventricular assist devices (VADS). Obesity can have a significant negative impact on mobility. For adolescents with Becker Muscular Dystrophy (BMD) for whom the ability to ambulate often persists into the mid-third decade, preservation of functional ability is critical. We report two cases of Thoratec HeartMate II left ventricular assist device (LVAD) implantation in adolescents with Becker Muscular Dystrophy for whom post-operative weight gain contributed significantly to accelerated loss of ambulation and, in one case, drive line fracture in the context of repeated falls. As LVADS become an increasingly common therapy for end-stage heart failure in adolescents with BMD, care must focus not only on maintaining device functionality, but aggressive weight management and preservation of ambulation and skeletal muscle strength.
View details for DOI 10.1097/MAT.0000000000000292
View details for PubMedID 26461240
Ventricular assist devices in a contemporary pediatric cohort: Morbidity, functional recovery, and survival. journal of heart and lung transplantation 2016; 35 (1): 92-98
Limited availability of donor organs has led to the use of ventricular assist devices (VADs) to treat heart failure in pediatric patients, primarily as bridge to transplantation. How effective VAD therapy is in promoting functional recovery in children is currently not known.We report morbidity and mortality as defined by the Interagency Registry for Mechanically Assisted Circulatory Support Modified for Pediatrics (PediMACS) and the use of the Treatment Intensity Score to assess functional status for 50 VAD patients supported at a single pediatric program from 2004 to 2013.In this cohort, 30-day survival on VAD was 98%, and 180-day survival was 83%. Stroke occurred in 11 patients (22%), with 8 (16%) resulting in persistent neurologic deficit or death. The adverse event rate was 2-fold to 3-fold higher in the first 7 days of support compared with the subsequent support period. Functional status, as measured by the Treatment Intensity Score, improved with duration of support. Successful bridge to transplantation was associated with fewer adverse events during support and greater improvement in the Treatment Intensity Score during the period of support.Overall survival in this cohort is excellent. The risk of serious adverse events decreases over the first month of support. However, a clinically significant risk of morbidity and mortality persists for the duration of pediatric VAD support. Measures of functional status improve with duration of support and are associated with survival to transplantation.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.healun.2015.06.006
View details for PubMedID 26210751
Group visits in the pediatric heart transplant outpatient clinic PEDIATRIC TRANSPLANTATION 2015; 19 (7): 730-736
The "GVM" has emerged as an alternative to traditional individualized appointments in the ambulatory care setting. We hypothesized that group visits could successfully be utilized in a PHtx clinic. Seven patients, ages 1-18yr old, and their families participated in a total of 11 group visits in lieu of individualized appointments. Patients were divided into two groups based on whether they were greater or less than one yr post-transplant. Patient/provider satisfaction, medication adherence, and content retention were ascertained via questionnaires and free-response tests. Total clinic throughput time, including per-patient clinic utilization time, was compared to historical data. Six of seven patients completed the study with one dropout. Overall satisfaction ratings were 3.98 of 4 with all patients reporting that they would "strongly recommend" group visits to others. Health information retention tests demonstrated improvement between pre- and post-tests in eight of nine (89%) of the group visits. Overall clinic utilization decreased by nearly 50% while providing 70min of face-to-face time with the provider. Medication adherence neared 100% for all patients. The GVM can be successfully applied to the PHtx population with high patient and provider satisfaction, more face-to-face time, excellent content retention, and greatly improved clinic efficiency.
View details for DOI 10.1111/petr.12574
View details for Web of Science ID 000362580100018
View details for PubMedID 26250489
Changes in Risk Profile Over Time in the Population of a Pediatric Heart Transplant Program. Annals of thoracic surgery 2015; 100 (3): 989-994
Single-center data on pediatric heart transplantation spanning long time frames is sparse. We attempted to analyze how risk profile and pediatric heart transplant survival outcomes at a large center changed over time.We divided 320 pediatric heart transplants done at Stanford University between 1974 and 2014 into three groups by era: the first 20 years (95 transplants), the subsequent 10 years (87 transplants), and the most recent 10years (138 transplants). Differences in age at transplant, indication, mechanical support, and survival were analyzed.Follow-up was 100% complete. Average age at time of transplantation was 10.4 years, 11.9 years, and 5.6 years in eras 1, 2, and 3, respectively. The percentage of infants who received transplants by era was 21%, 7%, and 18%, respectively. The indication of end-stage congenital heart disease vs cardiomyopathy was 24%, 22%, and 49%, respectively. Only 1 patient (1%) was on mechanical support at transplant in era 1 compared with 15% in era 2 and 30% in era 3. Overall survival was 72% at 5 years and 57% at 10 years. Long-term survival increased significantly with each subsequent era. Patients with cardiomyopathy generally had a survival advantage over those with congenital heart disease.The risk profile of pediatric transplant patients in our institution has increased over time. In thelast 10 years, median age has decreased and ventricular assist device support has increased dramatically. Transplantation for end-stage congenital heart disease is increasingly common. Despite this, long-term survival has significantly and consistently improved.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2015.05.111
View details for PubMedID 26228604
Changes in Risk Profile Over Time in the Population of a Pediatric Heart Transplant Program ANNALS OF THORACIC SURGERY 2015; 100 (3): 989-995
Fatal West Nile Virus Encephalitis in a Heart Transplant Recipient JOURNAL OF CLINICAL MICROBIOLOGY 2015; 53 (8): 2749-2752
The diagnosis of encephalitis is particularly challenging in immunocompromised patients. We report here a case of fatal West Nile Virus encephalitis confounded by the presence of budding yeast in the CSF in a patient who had undergone heart transplantation for dilated cardiomyopathy 11 months prior to presentation of neurologic symptoms.
View details for DOI 10.1128/JCM.00834-15
View details for Web of Science ID 000358290200055
View details for PubMedID 25994169
A novel pediatric treatment intensity score: development and feasibility in heart failure patients with ventricular assist devices JOURNAL OF HEART AND LUNG TRANSPLANTATION 2015; 34 (4): 509-515
The evolution of pharmacologic therapies and mechanical support including ventricular assist devices (VADs) has broadened the scope of care available to children with advanced heart failure. At the present time, there are only limited means of quantifying disease severity or the concomitant morbidity for this population. This study describes the development of a novel pediatric treatment intensity score (TIS), designed to quantify the burden of illness and clinical trajectory in children on VAD support.There were 5 clinical domains assessed: nutrition, respiratory support, activity level, cardiovascular medications, and care environment. A scale was developed through expert consensus. Higher scores indicate greater morbidity as reflected by intensity of medical management. To evaluate feasibility and face validity, the TIS was applied retrospectively to a subset of pediatric inpatients with VADs. The Bland-Altman method was used to assess limits of agreement.The study comprised 39 patients with 42 implantations. Bland-Altman interobserver and intraobserver comparisons showed good agreement (mean differences in scores of 0.02, limits of agreement 0.12). Trends in TIS were concordant with the overall clinical impression of improvement. Scores remained 0.6 preceding VAD implantation and peaked at 0.71 3 days after VAD implantation.We describe a pediatric VAD scoring tool, to assess global patient morbidity and clinical recovery. We demonstrate feasibility of using this TIS in a test population of inpatients on VAD support.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.healun.2014.10.007
View details for Web of Science ID 000353251200006
Quality of life and metrics of achievement in long-term adult survivors of pediatric heart transplant PEDIATRIC TRANSPLANTATION 2015; 19 (1): 76-81
Many children who undergo heart transplantation will survive into adulthood. We sought to examine the QOL and capacity for achievement in long-term adult survivors of pediatric heart transplantation. Adults >18yr of age who received transplants as children (18yr old) and had survived for at least 10yr post-transplant completed two self-report questionnaires: (i) Ferrans & Powers QLI, in which life satisfaction is reported as an overall score and in four subscale domains and is then indexed from 0 (very dissatisfied) to 1 (very satisfied); and (ii) a "Metrics of Life Achievement" questionnaire regarding income, education, relationships, housing status, and access to health care. A total of 20 subjects completed the survey. The overall mean QLI score was 0.770.16. Subjects were most satisfied in the family domain (0.840.21) and least satisfied in the psychological/spiritual domain (0.70.28). Satisfaction in the domains of health/functioning and socioeconomic were intermediate at 0.78 and 0.76, respectively. Most respondents had graduated from high school, reported a median annual income >$50000/yr, and lived independently. Adult survivors of pediatric heart transplant report a good QOL and demonstrate the ability to obtain an education, work, and live independently.
View details for DOI 10.1111/petr.12384
View details for Web of Science ID 000346915200021
IVIG and graft coronary artery disease: A potentially deadly combination in pediatric heart transplant recipients PEDIATRIC TRANSPLANTATION 2015; 19 (1): 130-131
Reliability of echocardiographic measurements of left ventricular systolic function in potential pediatric heart transplant donors JOURNAL OF HEART AND LUNG TRANSPLANTATION 2015; 34 (1): 100-106
Echocardiogram reports, but not images, are usually available for the evaluation of potential donor hearts. To assess the reliability of local reports of potential pediatric heart donors, we compared echocardiographic measurements of left ventricular (LV) systolic function between local hospitals and a central echocardiography laboratory.We identified all potential donors aged <18 years managed by the California Transplant Donor Network from 2009 to 2013. Echocardiograms and reports were obtained from local hospitals. All studies were reviewed in a central laboratory by an experienced pediatric cardiologist blinded to local reports. Local and central measurements of fractional shortening (FS) were compared using the Bland-Altman method (mean difference 2 standard deviations). LV function was categorized based on FS as normal or mild, moderately, or severely depressed.There were 70 studies from 59 donors with local and central measurements of FS. The mean difference between local and central FS was 3.9 9.0. The limits of agreement ranged from -14.2 to 22. Twenty-five studies had discordant measurements of LV function, with 17 discordant by 1 category and 8 by 2 or more categories. Of 55 studies categorized as normal by local measurement, 6 were moderately to severely depressed by central review. Of 15 studies categorized as depressed by local measurement, 3 were normal by central review.Local and central measurements of LV systolic function were discordant in 36% of studies. Given such discordance, efforts to obtain and view actual echocardiographic images should be part of the standard evaluation of potential pediatric heart donors.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.healun.2014.08.019
View details for Web of Science ID 000348273400012
HLA desensitization with bortezomib in a highly sensitized pediatric patient PEDIATRIC TRANSPLANTATION 2014; 18 (8): E280-E282
HLA desensitization with bortezomib in a highly sensitized pediatric patient. Pediatric transplantation 2014; 18 (8): E280-2
The proteasome inhibitor bortezomib has been used with variable success in the treatment of AMR following heart transplant. There is limited experience with this agent as a pretransplant desensitizing therapy. We report a case of successful HLA desensitization with a bortezomib-based protocol prior to successful heart transplantation. A nine-yr-old boy with dilated cardiomyopathy, not initially sensitized to HLA (cPRA of zero), required threedays of ECMO, followed by implantation of a Heartmate II LVAD. Within sixwk, the patient developed de novo class I IgG and C1q complement-fixing HLA antibodies with a cPRA of 100%. Two doses of IVIG (2g/kg) failed to reduce antibody levels, although two courses of a novel desensitization protocol consisting of rituximab (375mg/m(2) ), bortezomib (1.3mg/m(2) 5 doses), and plasmapheresis reduced his cPRA to 0% and 87% by the C1q and IgG assays, respectively. He underwent heart transplantation nearly twomonths later. The patient is now >oneyr post-transplant, is free of both AMR and ACR, and has no detectable donor-specific antibodies by IgG or C1q. Proteasome inhibition with bortezomib and plasmapheresis may be an effective therapy for HLA desensitization pretransplant.
View details for DOI 10.1111/petr.12347
View details for PubMedID 25174602
Cognitive and Psycholologic Considerations in Pediatric Heart Failure JOURNAL OF CARDIAC FAILURE 2014; 20 (10): 782-785
Cognitive and psycholologic considerations in pediatric heart failure. Journal of cardiac failure 2014; 20 (10): 782-785
Because children with heart failure live longer both before and after cardiac transplantation, there is renewed focus on the quality and preservation of their intellectual functioning and psychosocial health. Children with chronic heart failure are at risk for delays in both cognitive development and psychologic functioning, though the extent and permanence of impairment is not well understood. Children with medically managed heart failure have been shown to be at increased risk for anxiety and depression, with a prevalence of emotional disorders similar to that of other children with congenital heart disease. The use of ventricular assist devices as a bridge to transplantation offers both risks and benefits for the preservation of intellectual and emotional function, with an increased risk for ischemic injury to the brain, but offers the advantage of allowing for cognitive stimulation and improved social interactions. A new population of children with heart failure, those outfitted with permanent ventricular assist devices in lieu of cardiac transplantation, may represent a particular risk group regarding social and cognitive function, but as of yet this is not well studied. Early intervention and school accommodations are recommended for those with cognitive, social, or emotional deficits, and brain imaging should be considered for those with persistent difficulties. Whenever possible, patients should be referred to psychologists and developmental specialists with experience in treating this patient population.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.cardfail.2014.07.001
View details for PubMedID 25038263
An inpatient rehabilitation program utilizing standardized care pathways after paracorporeal ventricular assist device placement in children JOURNAL OF HEART AND LUNG TRANSPLANTATION 2014; 33 (6): 587-592
Structured rehabilitation programs in adults after ventricular assist device (VAD) placement result in improvements in physical function and exercise capacity, and have been shown to improve survival and accelerate post-transplant recovery. The objective of this study was to determine the safety and feasibility of an acute inpatient rehabilitation program for children utilizing standardized, age-appropriate, family-centered care pathways after paracorporeal VAD placement in both the ICU and acute-care inpatient settings.Between November 12, 2010 and March 15, 2013, 17 patients were referred to therapy after VAD implantation, 14 of whom were medically stable enough to participate. Beginning in the ICU, a structured physical and occupational therapy program was implemented utilizing novel age-appropriate, standardized care pathways for infants (age <1 year) and children (age 1 to 12 years). The infant and child pathways consisted of 8 and 10 goals, respectively. Retrospective review was conducted to ascertain the number of phases achieved per patient. Adverse events, defined as bleeding, physiologic instability, stroke, or device disruption during therapy, were also analyzed.The median age was 1.1 (range 0.5 to 14.4) years in the 14 patients considered medically stable enough to participate in rehabilitation. Nine of them were female. Eight patients participated in the infant standardized care pathway (SCP) and 6 participated in the child SCP. Seven patients were on biventricular support. Twelve patients were transplanted and survived. Two patients died while awaiting transplantation. There were 1,473 total days on the VAD (range 40 to 229 days). The median time to extubation was 2 days (range 1 to 8) and the median ICU stay was 6.5 days (range 3 to 152). Eleven patients achieved all goals of the SCP, including all of the patients in the child group. For the infant group, 5 patients achieved all goals of the SCP (range 5 to 8), and all but 1 patient achieved at least 7 goals of the SCP. There were no adverse events related to therapy.Standardized, family-centered inpatient rehabilitation care paths are safe for infants and children after paracorporeal device placement. Structured rehabilitation goals can be achieved by the majority of pediatric patients during VAD support. Early mobilization and inpatient rehabilitation in this cohort promotes normalization of function while awaiting cardiac transplantation.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.healun.2013.12.009
View details for Web of Science ID 000336637100005
Orthotopic heart transplantation in two infants with histiocytoid cardiomyopathy and left ventricular non-compaction PEDIATRIC TRANSPLANTATION 2013; 17 (7): E165-E167
HC is a rare cause of congestive heart failure that typically presents with malignant ventricular arrhythmias in infants, often requiring urgent intervention. Successful heart transplantation in a patient with HC has only been reported once (J Heart Lung Transplant 2004: 23: 902). The combination of HC with concurrent LVNC has only been described three times (Int J Legal Med 2009: 123: 47; Hum Pathol 2005: 36: 403; Pediatr Dev Pathol 2012: 15: 397). We report two rare cases of HC with LVNC in two infants presenting with cardiogenic shock, one requiring ECMO support who was successfully bridged to orthotopic heart transplantation with a Berlin Heart LVAD.
View details for DOI 10.1111/petr.12141
View details for Web of Science ID 000325369400004
View details for PubMedID 24099092
QRS prolongation is strongly associated with life-threatening ventricular arrhythmias in children with dilated cardiomyopathy JOURNAL OF HEART AND LUNG TRANSPLANTATION 2013; 32 (10): 1013-1019
The incidence of sudden death in children with dilated cardiomyopathy has been estimated at < 1% annually. This number, however, may underestimate the incidence of life-threatening arrhythmias. The objective of this study was to assess the incidence of and identify risk factors for life-threatening arrhythmias in children with dilated cardiomyopathy.We conducted a retrospective record review of 183 children with dilated cardiomyopathy treated at a single center between 2000 and 2011. Life-threatening arrhythmia was defined as any ventricular arrhythmia that resulted in syncope or hypotension and required medical intervention. Risk factors for life-threatening arrhythmias were identified with univariate analyses. A prediction model was constructed with multivariate logistic regression and receiver operating characteristic curves.Nineteen patients experienced life-threatening arrhythmias, representing an annualized rate of 4.9%. Outpatient life-threatening arrhythmias occurred at a rate of 2.2% per year. Predictors of outpatient life-threatening arrhythmias were longer QRS duration (p = 0.003) and increased left ventricular posterior wall (LVPWd) thickness (p = 0.03). Only QRS duration remained significant in multivariate logistic regression (odds ratio, 1.8 for every unit increase in z-score; 95% CI, 1.01-1.9; p = 0.04). For all life-threatening arrhythmias, prolonged QRS duration was the only significant risk factor in multivariate logistic regression (odds ratio, 1.5; 95% CI, 1.1-2.2; p = 0.02).In children with dilated cardiomyopathy, as QRS duration increases, so too does the risk of life-threatening arrhythmias. Life-threatening arrhythmias occurred at an annual rate of 5%, which was much higher than the previously reported rate of sudden cardiac death in this population.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.healun.2013.06.007
View details for Web of Science ID 000325044600010
Abdominal complaints as a common first presentation of heart failure in adolescents with dilated cardiomyopathy AMERICAN JOURNAL OF EMERGENCY MEDICINE 2013; 31 (4): 684-686
We hypothesized that isolated gastrointestinal complaints (abdominal pain, nausea, anorexia, weight loss), in the absence of other symptoms, were a common mode of initial presentation in children with congestive heart failure (CHF).Ninety-eight patients younger than 18 years hospitalized with dilated cardiomyopathy at a single institution between January 1, 2000, and December 31, 2009, were included. Retrospective review of their presenting complaints was recorded and analyzed according to 3 age groups: 0 to 1 year (infants), 1 to 10 years (children), and 11 to 18 years (adolescents) of age.Respiratory symptoms were common in all age groups (range, 56%-63%). Gastrointestinal complaints were also common in all age groups (42%, 28%, and 65%, respectively) and were more frequent than respiratory complaints in adolescents. Adolescents were likely to present with abdominal pain as their only complaint (10/43, 23%). Chest pain, syncope, or cardiac arrest occurred rarely.Abdominal complaints are a common component of the presenting symptom complex of CHF in pediatric dilated cardiomyopathy in all age groups. In adolescents, abdominal complaints occur more frequently than respiratory complaints and often in the absence of any other symptoms. Unlike CHF in adults, chest pain, arrhythmia, or cardiac arrest occurs rarely at presentation in pediatric patients. Recognition of the different presenting symptoms of heart failure in children by primary providers is crucial to ensuring prompt diagnosis and timely initiation of therapy.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.ajem.2012.12.009
View details for Web of Science ID 000316723400010
View details for PubMedID 23380118
Intermediate-term outcomes after combined heart-liver transplantation in children with a univentricular heart JOURNAL OF HEART AND LUNG TRANSPLANTATION 2013; 32 (3): 368-370
For patients with end-stage hepatic failure secondary to failing hemodynamics, combined heart-liver transplant (H-LT) remains the only option for long-term survival. We report a series of three pediatric patients who successfully underwent orthotopic H-LT for failed single-ventricle palliation. All three patients are currently living, now two, three, and five years post-transplant, and remain completely free of cardiac cellular allograft rejection despite reduced immunosuppression protocols. One patient, however, did develop acute antibody-mediated rejection in the immediate post-transplant period, suggesting that this protective effect may be less effective in attenuating humoral mechanisms of rejection.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.healun.2012.11.023
View details for Web of Science ID 000315664600014
Orthotopic heart transplantation in two infants with histiocytoid cardiomyopathy and left ventricular non-compaction Pediatric Transplantation 2013
Electrical and mechanical dyssynchrony in pediatric pulmonary hypertension JOURNAL OF HEART AND LUNG TRANSPLANTATION 2012; 31 (8): 825-830
Electrical and mechanical dyssynchrony are often seen in patients with left ventricular failure. In pediatric pulmonary hypertension (PH), right ventricular failure predominates; however, the prevalence of electrical and/or mechanical dyssynchrony in these patients is unknown. We examined the prevalence of electrical and mechanical dyssynchrony in pediatric PH patients.Medical records (including, functional status, electrocardiograms and echocardiograms) of pediatric PH patients were reviewed. QRS duration z-scores were calculated to determine electrical dyssynchrony. Echo vector velocity imaging was used to calculate the mechanical dyssynchrony index (DI).Seventy-seven PH patients (idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension [IPAH]: n = 26; congenital heart disease: n = 41; other: n = 10) were studied. Electrical dyssynchrony was seen in 84% (p < 0.01 vs historic controls), with a mean z-score of 4.3 (95% CI 3.5 to 5.1). There was no difference between those with IPAH, z = 3.6 (95% CI 2.5 to 4.6), and those without, z = 4.7 (95% CI 3.6 to 5.8). Mechanical dyssynchrony was seen in 76% of patients (mean DI = 66 47 vs 18 8 milliseconds in historic controls, p < 0.01) in both IPAH and non-IPAH patients. Post-operative congenital heart disease patients had the largest dyssynchrony index. No correlation was found among electrical or mechanical dyssynchrony, hemodynamics or disease severity.Significant electrical and mechanical dyssynchrony is present in pediatric PH patients, regardless of etiology. The overall effect of electrical and mechanical dyssynchrony on outcomes in this patient population is still unknown. Select patients may benefit from resynchronization therapy.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.healun.2012.04.004
View details for Web of Science ID 000306449000006
View details for PubMedID 22682994
Outcomes of Children Following a First Hospitalization for Dilated Cardiomyopathy CIRCULATION-HEART FAILURE 2012; 5 (4): 437-443
We hypothesized that children with dilated cardiomyopathy who require hospital admission are at increased risk for death or transplantation during their first hospitalization and in the first year that follows. We also assessed the value of routine data collected during that time to predict death or the need for transplantation prior to discharge and within 1 year of admission.We conducted a retrospective review of 83 pediatric patients with dilated cardiomyopathy whose initial hospitalization fell between 2004 and 2009. The mean age at hospitalization was 7 years. The majority of patients demonstrated moderate or severe left ventricular dysfunction on initial echocardiogram (80%) and/or the need for intravenous inotropes within 7 days of hospital admission (69%). Five patients (6%) died, and 15 (18%) were transplanted in the initial hospitalization. At 1 year, 11/71 (15%) had died, and 27/71 (38%) were transplanted. The overall freedom from death, transplantation, or rehospitalization at 1 year following admission was 21%. Fractional shortening, left ventricular ejection fraction, serum cholesterol, uric acid, mixed venous saturation, and atrial filling pressures were all predictive of death or transplantation during the initial hospitalization. Left ventricular ejection fraction was predictive of death or transplantation at 1 year.The first hospitalization for dilated cardiomyopathy marks a period of high risk for clinical decline, end stage heart failure, and the need for cardiac transplantation. Echocardiographic function and hemodynamic and serum measurements may aid in predicting outcomes. Despite medical management, most patients will be rehospitalized and/or require cardiac transplantation within 1 year of admission.
View details for DOI 10.1161/CIRCHEARTFAILURE.111.964510
View details for Web of Science ID 000313578100013
View details for PubMedID 22570362
Use of the Impella 5.0 as a bridge from ECMO to implantation of the HeartMate II left ventricular assist device in a pediatric patient PEDIATRIC TRANSPLANTATION 2012; 16 (2): 205-206
Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy in Pediatric Heart Failure Progress in Pediatric Cardiology 2011; 31: 111-117
Behcet's disease and heart transplantation: A word of caution JOURNAL OF HEART AND LUNG TRANSPLANTATION 2010; 29 (11): 1306-1308
Behcet's disease is a rare autoimmune disease characterized by oral and genital ulcers, and by multisystem disease, including arthritis, neurologic complications and vasculitis. Large-vessel and coronary artery aneurysms are often an indication for surgery, but the return of aneurysms, thrombosis, and the tendency to exhibit an exaggerated inflammatory response at puncture sites (pathergy) complicate surgical recovery. As such, cardiac transplantation, which requires atrial and large-vessel anastomoses, has not been reported in patients with Behcet's disease. We report the first orthotopic heart transplant with >1-year survival in a patient with Behcet's disease despite major complications. The investigators remain pessimistic about cardiac transplantation in patients with Behcet's disease until advances in preventing recurrent vascular pathology ensue.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.healun.2010.07.010
View details for Web of Science ID 000284030700015
View details for PubMedID 20822920
B-type natriuretic peptide levels predict outcome after neonatal cardiac surgery JOURNAL OF THORACIC AND CARDIOVASCULAR SURGERY 2007; 134 (4): 939-945
Neonates undergoing cardiac surgery are at high risk for adverse outcomes. B-type natriuretic peptide is used as a biomarker in patients with cardiac disease, but the predictive value of B-type natriuretic peptide after cardiac surgery in neonates has not been evaluated. Therefore, the objective of this study was to determine the predictive value of perioperative B-type natriuretic peptide levels for postoperative outcomes in neonates undergoing cardiac surgery.Plasma B-type natriuretic peptide determinations were made before and 2, 12, and 24 hours after surgery in 36 consecutive neonates. B-type natriuretic peptide levels and changes in perioperative B-type natriuretic peptide were evaluated as predictors of postoperative outcome.B-type natriuretic peptide levels at 24 hours were lower than preoperative levels (24-h/pre B-type natriuretic peptide ratio < 1) in 29 patients (81%) and higher (24-h/pre B-type natriuretic peptide ratio > or = 1) in 7 patients (19%). A 24-hour/pre B-type natriuretic peptide level of 1 or greater was associated with an increased incidence of low cardiac output syndrome (100% vs 34%, P = .002) and fewer ventilator-free days (17 +/- 13 days vs 26 +/- 3 days, P = .002), and predicted the 6-month composite end point of death, an unplanned cardiac operation, or cardiac transplant (57% vs 3%, P = .003). A 24-hour/pre B-type natriuretic peptide level of 1 or greater had a sensitivity of 80% and a specificity of 90% for predicting a poor postoperative outcome (P = .003).In neonates undergoing cardiac surgery, an increase in B-type natriuretic peptide 24 hours after surgery predicts poor postoperative outcome.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jtcvs.2007.04.017
View details for Web of Science ID 000249800600017
View details for PubMedID 17903511