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Pediatr Cardiol. 2010 Jan;31(1):66-73. doi: 10.1007/s00246-009-9572-5. Epub 2009 Dec 5.

Cardiac operations for North American children with rheumatic diseases: 1985-2005.

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  • 1Division of Pediatric Rheumatology, Department of Pediatrics, University of Minnesota Amplatz Children's Hospital, 420 Delaware St. SE, MMC 296, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA.


Certain pediatric rheumatic diseases are known to affect the heart, sometimes requiring surgical intervention. The Pediatric Cardiac Care Consortium database was used to characterize cardiac surgical intervention among children with rheumatic diseases from 1985 to 2005. From this large database, the records for patients younger than 21 years who underwent cardiac surgery for any rheumatic disorder were extracted. The data collected included the type of procedure performed, the age at the time of the procedure, and the year the procedure was performed. The 261 pediatric patients identified underwent 361 cardiac surgical procedures for complications of rheumatic heart disease (RHD; 160 patients), neonatal lupus (NLE; 53 patients), Kawasaki disease (KD; 28 patients), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE; 13 patients), and juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA; 7 patients). Multiple procedures were performed for 23% of the patients. The most common procedures included pacemaker implantations among infants with NLE, coronary artery bypass grafts for KD primarily in 5- to 15-year-olds, and cardiac valve operations among adolescents with RHD, SLE, and JRA. Six perioperative deaths occurred. The proportion of annual pediatric cardiac surgical volume attributable to rheumatic diseases did not change during the period studied. Despite advances in their medical care, children with rheumatic diseases continue to sustain measurable morbidity and mortality due to the cardiovascular manifestations of their disease.

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