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Fri, 24.05.24

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December 2023
Niv Soffair MD, Eran Shostak MD, Ovadia Dagan MD, Orit Manor-Shulman MD, Yael Feinstein MD, Gabriel Amir MD, Georgy Frenkel MD, Amichai Rotstein MD, Merav Dvir-Orgad MD, Einat Birk MD, Joanne Yacobovich MD, Ofer Schiller MD

Background: Ventricular assist devices (VADs) play a critical and increasing role in treating end-stage heart failure in pediatric patients. A growing number of patients are supported by VADs as a bridge to heart transplantation. Experience with VADs in the pediatric population is limited, and experience in Israel has not been published.

Objectives: To describe this life-saving technology and our experience with VAD implantation in children with heart failure, including characteristics and outcomes.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective chart review of all patients who underwent VAD implantation at Schneider Children's Medical Center from 2018 to 2023.

Results: We analyzed results of 15 children who underwent VAD implantation. The youngest was 2.5 years old and weighed 11 kg at implantation. In eight patients, HeartMate 3, a continuous-flow device, was implanted. Seven patients received Berlin Heart, a pulsatile-flow device. Three children required biventricular support; 11 underwent heart transplants after a median duration of 169 days. Two patients died due to complications while awaiting a transplant; two were still on VAD support at the time of submission of this article. Successful VAD support was achieved in 86.6% of patients. In the last 5 years,79%  of our heart transplant patients received VAD support prior to transplant.

Conclusions: Circulatory assist devices are an excellent bridge to transplantation for pediatric patients reaching end-stage heart failure. VADs should be carefully selected, and implantation techniques tailored to patient's weight and diagnosis at a centralized pediatric cardiac transplantation center. Israeli healthcare providers should be cognizant of this therapeutic alternative.

December 2016
Amit Dagan MD and Ovadia Dagan MD

Background: Early surgical correction of congenital heart malformations in neonates and small infants may be complicated by acute kidney injury (AKI), which is associated with higher morbidity and mortality rates, especially in patients who require dialysis. Glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is considered the best measurement of renal function which, in neonates and infants, is highly dependent on heart function. 

Objective: To determine whether measurements of creatinine clearance after open heart surgery in neonates and young infants can serve as an early indicator of surgical success or AKI.

Method: We conducted a prospective observational study in 19 neonates and small infants (body weight < 5 kg) scheduled for open heart surgery with cardiopulmonary bypass. Urine collection measurement of creatinine clearance and albumin excretion was performed before and during surgery and four times during 48 hours after surgery.

Results: Mean creatinine clearance was lowest during surgery (25.2 ± 4. ml/min/1.73 m2) and increased significantly in the first 16 hours post-surgery (45.7 ± 6.3 ml/min/1.73 m2). A similar pattern was noted for urine albumin which was highest during surgery (203 ± 31 µg/min) and lowest (93 ± 20 µg/min) 48 hours post-surgery. AKI occurred in four patients, and two patients even required dialysis. All six showed a decline in creatinine clearance and an increase in urine albumin between 8 and 16 hours post-surgery. 

Conclusions: In neonates and small infants undergoing open heart surgery, a significant improvement in creatinine clearance in the first 16 hours postoperatively is indicative of a good surgical outcome. This finding has important implications for the early evaluation and treatment of patients in the intensive care unit on the first day post-surgery.

 

July 2003
O. Dagan, E. Birk, Y. Katz, O. Gelber and B. Vidne

Background: The mortality rate associated with congenital heart surgery is apparently related to caseload.

Objective: To determine whether an increase in caseload over the long term at a single center affects management and outcome in children undergoing cardiac surgery.

Methods: Data were collected prospectively over a 4 year period from the computerized registry of the hospital’s pediatric intensive care unit. Five parameters were analyzed: age at surgery, type of surgery, preventive measures (open chest), surgery-related and other complications (diaphragm paralysis and acute renal failure, respectively), and mortality. The data of a single-type surgery (arterial switch) were analyzed for bypass time and mechanical ventilation on an annual basis.

Results: The age distribution changed over the years, with more children under 1 year of age (20% newborns) undergoing surgery by the fourth year of the study. The caseload increased from 216 in the first year to 330 in the fourth, with a concomitant decrease in mortality rate from 4.9% to 3.2%. The chest was left open in 3.2% of patients in the first year and in 9.2% in the fourth year. The rate of diaphragm paralysis decreased from 6% to 2.4%. Death due to acute renal failure in patients requiring dialysis decreased from more than 80% in the first 2 years to 36% in the last two. These changes show an improvement but failed to reach statistical significance. Regarding the arterial switch operation, there was a significant improvement in pump time and duration of mechanical ventilation.

Conclusions: The increase in caseload in pediatric cardiac surgery was accompanied by improved management, with a lower complications-related mortality rate. We suggest that for optimal care of children with congenital heart disorders, quality management resources should be concentrated in centers with high caseloads.
 

February 2000
Einat Birk MD, Alon Stamler MD, Jacob Katz MD, Michael Berant, Ovadia Dagan MD, Abraham Matitiau, Eldad Erez MD, Leonard C. Blieden and Bernardo A. Vidne

Background: Anomalous origin of the left coronary artery from the pulmonary artery is a rare congenital malformation that presents a diagnostic challenge to the pediatrician and pediatric cardiologist. Although surgical repair is always indicated, the optimal technique has yet to be determined.      

Objectives: To review our experience with the diagnosis of children with ALCAPA and to assess short to midterm surgical results.

Methods: Between 1992 and 1998, 13 infants and children (2 months to 15 years) were treated for ALCAPA at our medical center. Eight were diagnosed during the first year of life; all were symptomatic and had severe dysfunction of the left ventricle. The five patients diagnosed at an older age had normal myocardial function. Diagnosis was established by echocardiography alone in seven patients; six required catheterization (one infant and all older patients). Surgery was performed in 12 patients to establish dual coronary artery system: 7 underwent the Takeuchi procedure and 5 had re-implantation of the anomalous left coronary artery.

Results: One infant died shortly after diagnosis before surgical repair was attempted, and one died postoperatively. Four patients required additional surgery: three for late complications of the Takeuchi procedure and one valve replacement for mitral insufficiency. Recent evaluation revealed good global left ventricle function in all patients except for one, who is still within the recovery phase and shows gradual improvement. However, most patients who presented with severe myocardial dysfunction upon diagnosis still display abnormal features such as echo-dense papillary muscles or evidence of small akinetic segments. In this group, early repair was associated with faster myocardial recovery.

Conclusions: The diagnosis of ALCAPA remains a clinical challenge to the pediatrician and cardiologist. Diagnosis can be established echocardiographically, and early diagnosis and treatment may lead to faster myocardial recovery. The preferred surgical method appears to be re-implantation of the ALCA. The chance for good recovery of global ventricular function is high even in the sickest patients, nonetheless abnormal myocardial features can be identified even years after surgery.

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ALCAPA= anomolous origin of the left coronary artery from pulmonary artery.

Erez Sharoni MD, Jacob Katz MD, Ovadia Dagan MD, Avraham Lorber MD, Rafael Hirsch MD, Leonard C. Blieden, Bernardo A. Vidne MD and Einat Birk MD

Background: The need for aortic valve replacement in children and young adults poses a special problem to cardiologists and surgeons. Replacing the sick aortic valve with the patient’s pulmonary valve as described by Ross has proven to be a good option in this special age group.

Objective: To review our initial experience in order to assess the short-term results.

Methods: From January 1996 to June 1999, 40 patients (age 8 months to 41 years) underwent aortic valve replacement with pulmonary autograft. Indications for surgery were congenital aortic valve disease in 30 patients, bacterial endocarditis in 5, rheumatic fever in 3, and complex left ventricular outflow tract obstruction in 3. Trans-esophageal echocardiography was performed preoperatively and post-bypass in all patients, and transthoracic echocardiography was done prior to discharge and on follow-up.

Results: There was no preoperative or late mortality. All patients remain in functional class I (New York Heart Association) and are free of complications and medication. None showed progression of autograft insufficiency or LVOT obstruction. Homograft insufficiency in the pulmonary position has progressed from mild to moderate in one patient, and three developed mild homograft stenosis.

Conclusions: The Ross procedure can be performed with good results in the young population and is considered an elegant surgical alternative to prosthetic valves and homografts.

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LVOT = left ventricular outflow tract

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