Clinical Focus


  • Pediatric Cardiology

Academic Appointments


Professional Education


  • Board Certification: American Board of Pediatrics, Pediatric Cardiology (2019)
  • Board Certification: American Board of Pediatrics, Pediatrics (2019)
  • Medical Education: Medical College of Georgia Registrar (2009) GA
  • Residency: University of Tennessee Health Science Center Pediatric Residency (2012) TN
  • Fellowship: Nicklaus Childrens Hospital Pediatric Cardiology Fellowship (2015) FL
  • Fellowship: Stanford University Pediatric Cardiology Fellowship (2016) CA

All Publications


  • Expanded cardiovascular phenotype of Myhre syndrome includes tetralogy of Fallot suggesting a role for SMAD4 in human neural crest defects. American journal of medical genetics. Part A Cappuccio, G., Brunetti-Pierri, N., Clift, P., Learn, C., Dykes, J. C., Mercer, C. L., Callewaert, B., Meerschaut, I., Spinelli, A. M., Bruno, I., Gillespie, M. J., Dorfman, A. T., Grimberg, A., Lindsay, M. E., Lin, A. E. 1800

    Abstract

    Tetralogy of Fallot (ToF) can be associated with a wide range of extracardiac anomalies, with an underlying etiology identified in approximately 10% of cases. Individuals affected with Myhre syndrome due to recurrent SMAD4 mutations frequently have cardiovascular anomalies, including congenital heart defects. In addition to two patients in the literature with ToF, we describe five additional individuals with Myhre syndrome and classic ToF, ToF with pulmonary atresia and multiple aorto-pulmonary collaterals, and ToF with absent pulmonary valve. Aorta hypoplasia was documented in one patient and suspected in another two. In half of these individuals, postoperative cardiac dysfunction was thought to be more severe than classic postoperative ToF repair. There may be an increase in right ventricular pressure, and right ventricular dysfunction due to free pulmonic regurgitation. Noncardiac developmental abnormalities in our series and the literature, including corectopia, heterochromia iridis, and congenital miosis suggest an underlying defect of neural crest cell migration in Myhre syndrome. We advise clinicians that Myhre syndrome should be considered in the genetic evaluation of a child with ToF, short stature, unusual facial features, and developmental delay, as these children may be at risk for increased postoperative morbidity. Additional research is needed to investigate the hypothesis that postoperative hemodynamics in these patients may be consistent with restrictive myocardial physiology.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/ajmg.a.62645

    View details for PubMedID 35025139

  • Clinical and hemodynamic characteristics of the pediatric failing Fontan. The Journal of heart and lung transplantation : the official publication of the International Society for Heart Transplantation Dykes, J. C., Rosenthal, D. N., Bernstein, D., McElhinney, D. B., Chrisant, M. R., Daly, K. P., Ameduri, R. K., Knecht, K., Richmond, M. E., Lin, K. Y., Urschel, S., Simmonds, J., Simpson, K. E., Albers, E. L., Khan, A., Schumacher, K., Almond, C. S., Chen, S., Pediatric Heart Transplant Society 2021

    Abstract

    AIM: To describe the clinical and hemodynamic characteristics of Fontan failure in children listed for heart transplant.METHODS: In a nested study of the Pediatric Heart Transplant Society, 16 centers contributed information on Fontan patients listed for heart transplant between 2005and 2013.Patients were classified into four mutually exclusive phenotypes: Fontan with abnormal lymphatics (FAL), Fontan with reduced systolic function (FRF), Fontan with preserved systolic function (FPF), and Fontan with "normal" hearts (FNH). Primary outcome was waitlist and post-transplant mortality.RESULTS: 177 children listed for transplant were followed over a median 13 (IQR 4-31) months, 84 (47%) were FAL, 57 (32%) FRF, 22 (12%) FNH, and 14 (8%) FPF. Hemodynamic characteristics differed between the 4 groups: Fontan pressure (FP) was most elevated with FPF (median 22, IQR 18-23, mmHg) and lowest with FAL (16, 14-20, mmHg); cardiac index (CI) was lowest with FRF (2.8, 2.3-3.4, L/min/m2). In the entire cohort, 66% had FP >15 mmHg, 21% had FP >20 mmHg, and 10% had CI <2.2 L/min/m2. FRF had the highest risk of waitlist mortality (21%) and FNH had the highest risk of post-transplant mortality (36%).CONCLUSIONS: Elevated Fontan pressure is more common than low cardiac output in pediatric failing Fontan patients listed for transplant. Subtle hemodynamic differences exist between the various phenotypes of pediatric Fontan failure. Waitlist and post-transplant mortality risks differ by phenotype.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.healun.2021.07.017

    View details for PubMedID 34412962

  • Characteristics and Outcomes of Pediatric Patients With a Ventricular Assist Device Presenting to the Emergency Department. Pediatric emergency care Pokrajac, N., Cantwell, L. M., Murray, J. M., Dykes, J. C. 2021

    Abstract

    OBJECTIVES: A growing number of children receive support from left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) in the outpatient setting. Unexpected complications of LVAD support occur that require emergent management, and no studies examine how pediatric LVAD patients present to the emergency department (ED). The goals of this study were (1) to describe frequency of visits, clinical characteristics, adverse events, and outcomes of LVAD-supported children treated in ED settings and (2) to evaluate for associations between specified patient outcomes and ED care location.METHODS: This was a retrospective cohort study of children in a single-center outpatient VAD program who presented to several EDs during a 10-year period. We defined adverse events according to the Advanced Cardiac Therapies Improving Outcomes Network registry guidelines. Secondary analysis evaluated for associations between specified patient outcomes (adverse events, hospitalizations, intensive care unit admissions) and ED care location (institutional vs other ED).RESULTS: Of 104 subjects with LVAD implantations during the study period, 30 (28.8%) transitioned to outpatient care. Among subjects in the outpatient VAD program, 24 (80%) of 30 had 54 visits to various EDs over 141.9 patient-months. The median age at time of ED visit was 13.5 years (range, 7.2-17.9 years). The median number of visits per subject was 1 (range, 0-6). The most common complaints on arrival to the ED were vomiting or abdominal pain (16.7%), fever (15.3%), and headache (13.9%). Seventeen adverse events occurred during 14 (25.9%) of 54 ED visits. The most common adverse events were major infection (33.3%) and right heart failure (16.7%). Hospital admission resulted from 41 (75.9%) of 54 ED visits, including 17 (41.5%) of 41 to a cardiovascular intensive care unit. Care at a nonspecialty ED was associated with a higher rate of hospitalization (93.8% vs 68.4%, P = 0.049). During the study period, 4 subjects (13.3%) died, including 1 patient on destination therapy, 1 with multisystem organ failure due to cardiogenic shock, and 2 with hemorrhagic stroke. No patient died while in the ED.CONCLUSIONS: Among subjects in a single outpatient pediatric VAD program presenting to the ED, the most common complaints were abdominal pain/vomiting, fever, and headache. The most common adverse events were major infection and right heart failure. Subjects had a high rate of ED utilization and hospital admission.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/PEC.0000000000002493

    View details for PubMedID 34225326

  • The multisystem nature of isomerism: left isomerism complicated by Abernethy malformation and portopulmonary hypertension. Cardiology in the young Ringle, M. L., Loomba, R., Dykes, J. C., Khan, D., Schidlow, D., Wernovsky, G. 2021: 1–9

    Abstract

    Isomerism, also referred to as "heterotaxy" is a complex set of anatomic and functional perturbations. One of the most obvious manifestations of isomerism is the disturbance of organ arrangement, such that the thoracic organs are no longer asymmetric on the left and right. We report the case of a 14-year-old female in whom exercise-induced dyspnea led to a late diagnosis of left isomerism complicated by Abernethy malformation and portopulmonary hypertension. A comprehensive evaluation revealed two anatomic left lungs and hyparterial bronchi, bilateral left atria, an interrupted inferior caval vein with azygos continuation, multiple spleens, sinus node dysfunction, hepatic hypertrophy with focal nodular hyperplasia, and absence of the portal vein. Pulmonary vasodilator therapy was initiated resulting in clinical improvement. This case exhibits unique features including a late diagnosis of isomerism with Abernethy malformation and portopulmonary hypertension. The patient's presentation, medical workup, and future treatment emphasise the importance of multidisciplinary care in children with complex multisystem disease. We review the multiple cardiac and extracardiac manifestations of isomerism.

    View details for DOI 10.1017/S1047951121000809

    View details for PubMedID 33731242

  • Berlin Heart EXCOR and ACTION post-approval surveillance study report. The Journal of heart and lung transplantation : the official publication of the International Society for Heart Transplantation Zafar, F., Conway, J., Bleiweis, M. S., Al-Aklabi, M., Ameduri, R., Barnes, A., Bearl, D. W., Buchholz, H., Church, S., Do, N. L., Duffy, V., Dykes, J. C., Eghtesady, P., Fisher, L., Friedland-Little, J., Fuller, S., Fynn-Thompson, F., George, K., Gossett, J. G., Griffiths, E. R., Griselli, M., Hawkins, B., Honjo, O., Jeewa, A., Joong, A., Kindel, S., Kouretas, P., Lorts, A., Machado, D., Maeda, K., Maurich, A., May, L. J., McConnell, P., Mehegan, M., Monge, M., Morales, D. L., Murray, J., Niebler, R. A., O'Connor, M., Peng, D. M., Phelps, C., Philip, J., Ploutz, M., Profsky, M., Reichhold, A., Rosenthal, D. N., Said, A. S., Schumacher, K. R., Si, M., Simpson, K. E., Sparks, J., Louis, J. S., Steiner, M. E., VanderPluym, C., Villa, C., ACTION Learning Network Investigators 2021

    Abstract

    BACKGROUND: The Berlin Heart EXCOR Pediatric (EXCOR) ventricular assist device (VAD) was introduced in North America nearly 2 decades ago. The EXCOR was approved under Humanitarian Device Exemption status in 2011 and received post-market approval (PMA) in 2017 from Food and Drug Administration. Since the initial approval, the field of pediatric mechanical circulatory support has changed, specifically with regard to available devices, anticoagulation strategies, and the types of patients supported. This report summarizes the outcomes of patients supported with EXCOR from the Advanced Cardiac Therapies Improving Outcomes Network (ACTION) registry. These data were part of the PMA surveillance study (PSS) required by the Food and Drug Administration.METHODS: ACTION is a learning collaborative of over 40 pediatric heart failure programs worldwide, which collects data for all VAD implantations as one of its initiatives. All patients in North America with EXCOR implants reported to ACTION from 2018 to 2020 (n = 72) who had met an outcome were included in the EXCOR PSS group. This was compared with a historical, previously reported Berlin Heart EXCOR study group (Berlin Heart study [BHS] group, n = 320, 2007‒2014).RESULTS: Patients in the PSS group were younger, were smaller in weight/body surface area, were more likely to have congenital heart disease, and were less likely to receive a bi-VAD than those in the BHS group. Patients in the PSS group were less likely to be in Interagency Registry for Mechanically Assisted Circulatory Support Profile 1 and were supported for a longer duration. The primary anticoagulation therapy for 92% of patients in the PSS group was bivalirudin. Success, defined as being transplanted, being weaned for recovery, or being alive on a device at 180 days after implantation, was 86% in the PSS group compared with 76% in the BHS group. Incidence of stroke was reduced by 44% and the frequency of pump exchange by 40% in the PSS group compared with those in the BHS group. Similarly, all other adverse events, including major bleeding, were reduced in the PSS group.CONCLUSIONS: The PSS data, collected through ACTION, highlight the improvement in outcomes for patients supported with EXCOR compared with the outcomes in a historical cohort. These findings may be the result of changes in patient care practices over time and collaborative learning.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.healun.2021.01.010

    View details for PubMedID 33579597

  • Adverse Events Associated with Cardiac Catheterization in Children Supported with Ventricular Assist Devices. ASAIO journal (American Society for Artificial Internal Organs : 1992) Power, A., Navaratnam, M., Murray, J. M., Peng, L. F., Rosenthal, D. N., Dykes, J. C., Yarlagadda, V. V., Maeda, K., Almond, C. S., Chen, S. 2021

    Abstract

    Children on ventricular assist device (VAD) support can present several unique challenges, including small patient size, univentricular or biventricular congenital heart disease (1V- or 2V-CHD) and need for biventricular VAD (BiVAD) support. While cardiac catheterization can provide valuable information, it is an invasive procedure with inherent risks. We sought to evaluate the safety of catheterization in pediatric patients on VAD support. We performed a retrospective review of patients on VAD support who underwent catheterization at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital between January 1, 2014 and September 1, 2019. Using definitions adapted from Pedimacs, adverse events (AEs) after catheterization were identified, including arrhythmia; major bleeding or acute kidney injury within 24 hours; respiratory failure persisting at 24 hours; and stroke, pericardial effusion, device malfunction, bacteremia or death within 7 days. AEs were categorized as related or unrelated to catheterization. Sixty procedures were performed on 39 patients. Underlying diagnoses were dilated cardiomyopathy (48%), 1V-CHD (35%), 2V-CHD (8%), and other (8%). Devices were implantable continuous flow (72%), paracorporeal pulsatile (18%) and paracorporeal continuous flow (10%). Catheterizations were performed on patients in the ICU (60%), on inotropic support (42%), with deteriorating clinical status (37%) and on BiVAD support (12%). There were 9 AEs possibly related to catheterization including 6 episodes of respiratory failure, 2 major bleeding events, and 1 procedural arrhythmia. AE occurrence was associated with ICU status (P = 0.01), BiVAD support (P = 0.04) and procedural indication to evaluate worsening clinical status (P = 0.04). Despite high medical acuity, catheterization can be performed with an acceptable AE profile in children on VAD support.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/MAT.0000000000001627

    View details for PubMedID 34967779

  • The Stanford acute heart failure symptom score for patients hospitalized with heart failure. The Journal of heart and lung transplantation : the official publication of the International Society for Heart Transplantation Almond, C. S., Chen, S., Dykes, J. C., Kwong, J., Burstein, D. S., Rosenthal, D. N., Kipps, A. K., Teuteberg, J., Murray, J. M., Kaufman, B. D., Hollander, S. A., Profita, E., Yarlagadda, V. Y., Sacks, L. D., Chen, C. 2020

    Abstract

    BACKGROUND: Currently, there are no simple tools to evaluate the acute heart failure (HF) symptom severity in children hospitalized with acute decompensated HF (ADHF). We sought to develop an inpatient HF score (HFS) that could be used as a clinical tool and for clinical trials.METHODS: Pediatric HF clinicians at Stanford reviewed the limitations of existing HFSs, which include lack of calibration to the inpatient setting, omission of gastrointestinal symptoms, need for multiple age-based tools, and scores that prioritize treatment intensity over patient symptoms. To address these, we developed an acute HFS corresponding to the 3 cardinal symptoms of HF: difficulty with breathing, feeding, and activity. The score was iteratively improved over a 3-year pilot phase until no further changes were made. The inter-rater reliability (IRR) across a range of providers was assessed using the final version. Peak HFSs were analyzed against mortality and length of stay (LOS) for all pediatric HF discharges between July and October 2019.RESULTS: The final HFS was a 4-point ordinal severity score for each of the 3 symptom domains (total score 0-12). Among clinicians who scored 12 inpatients with ADHF simultaneously, the intraclass correlation (ICC) was 0.94 (respiratory ICC = 0.89, feeding ICC = 0.85, and activity ICC = 0.80). Score trajectory reflected our clinical impression of patient response to HF therapies across a range of HF syndromes including 1- and 2-ventricle heart disease and reduced or preserved ejection fraction. Among the 28 patients hospitalized during a 3-months period (N = 28), quartiles of peak score were associated with LOS (p < 0.01) and in-hospital mortality (p < 0.01): HFS 0 to 3 (median LOS of 5 days and mortality of 0%), HFS 4 to 6 (median LOS of 18 days and mortality of 0%), HFS 5 to 9 (median LOS of 29 days and mortality of 23%), and HFS 10 to 12 (median LOS of 121 days and mortality of 50%).CONCLUSION: This simple acute HFS may be a useful tool to quantify and monitor day-to-day HF symptoms in children hospitalized with ADHF regardless of etiology or age group. The score has excellent IRR across provider levels and is associated with major hospital outcomes supporting its clinical validity. Validation in a multicenter cohort is warranted.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.healun.2020.08.002

    View details for PubMedID 33032871

  • RAPID AORTIC HOMOGRAFT DEGENERATION AND VAD SUPPORT IN A NEONATE WITH SINGLE VENTRICLE HEART DISEASE Ahmed, H., Chen, S., Yarlagadda, V., Almond, C., Murray, J., Rosenthal, D. N., Ma, M., Dykes, J., Maeda, K. ELSEVIER SCIENCE INC. 2020: 2865
  • RECENT TRENDS IN RIGHT HEART MECHANICAL SUPPORT STRATEGIES IN CHILDREN REQUIRING LVAD SUPPORT Dykes, J., Ahmed, H., Power, A., Murray, J., Chen, C., Chen, S., Rosenthal, D. N., Maeda, K., Almond, C. ELSEVIER SCIENCE INC. 2020: 1052
  • Evolution of Single Ventricular Assist Device Support for the Failing Bi-directional Glenn Patient. The Annals of thoracic surgery Maeda, K., Nasirov, T., Yarlagadda, V., Hollander, S. A., Navaratnam, M., Rosenthal, D. N., Dykes, J. C., Kaufman, B. D., Almond, C. S., Reinhartz, O., Murray, J., Chen, S. 2020

    Abstract

    BACKGROUND: Given poor outcomes, strategies to improve ventricular assist device (VAD) for single ventricle (SV) patients with bi-directional Glenn (BDG) palliation is needed.METHODS: Retrospective review of our institutional experience with VAD support for BDG patients from April 2011 to January 2019. Surgical strategies, complications and causes of death are described. Survival to transplant for various strategies are compared.RESULTS: Seven patients with BDG (weights 5.6-28.8 kg, ages 7 months - 11 years) underwent VAD implantation. Three patients received Berlin Heart EXCOR, 2 received Heartware HVADs and 2 patients received paracorporeal continuous flow devices. Four patients underwent ventricular inflow cannulation, and 3 underwent atrial inflow cannulation. At the time of VAD implant, the BDG was left intact in 3 patients, taken down in 3 patients, and created de novo in 1 patient. Over a total of 420 VAD support days, 2 patients survived to heart transplant; one with Heartware ventricular cannulation and intact BDG (after 174 days), and another with Berlin Heart atrial cannulation and BDG take-down (after 72 days). There were 3 deaths within 2 weeks of VAD implant (2 due to respiratory failure, 1 due to infection) and 2 deaths after 30 days due to strokes.CONCLUSIONS: The surgical strategy and postoperative management of VAD with BDG are still evolving. Successful support can be achieved with 1) both pulsatile and continuous flow pumps, 2) atrial or ventricular cannulation, and 3) with or without BDG take-down. Surgical strategy should be determined by individual patient anatomy, physiology and condition.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.athoracsur.2019.12.088

    View details for PubMedID 32151575

  • Bridge to Transplant with Ventricular Assist Device Support in Pediatric Patients with Single Ventricle Heart Disease ASAIO JOURNAL Chen, S., Rosenthal, D. N., Murray, J., Dykes, J. C., Almond, C. S., Yarlagadda, V. V., Wright, G., Navaratnam, M., Reinhartz, O., Maeda, K. 2020; 66 (2): 205–11
  • Commentary: To BiVAD or not to BiVAD…that is the question? The Journal of thoracic and cardiovascular surgery Dykes, J. C., Maeda, K. n. 2020

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jtcvs.2020.01.003

    View details for PubMedID 32029209

  • A Quality Bundle to Support High-Risk Pediatric Ventricular Assist Device Implantation. Pediatric cardiology Knoll, C., Chen, S., Murray, J. M., Dykes, J. C., Yarlagadda, V. V., Rosenthal, D. N., Almond, C. S., Maeda, K., Shin, A. Y. 2019

    Abstract

    Pediatric ventricular assist device (VAD) implantation outcomes are increasingly promising for children with dilated cardiomyopathy and advanced decompensated heart failure (ADHF). VAD placement in patients with clinical features such as complex congenital cardiac anatomy, small body size, or major comorbidities remains problematic. These comorbidities have been traditionally prohibitive for VAD consideration leaving these children as a treatment-orphaned population. Here we describe the quality bundle surrounding these patients with ADHF considered high risk for VAD implantation at our institution. Over a 7-year period, a quality bundle aimed at the peri-operative care for children with high-risk features undergoing VAD implantation was incrementally implemented at a tertiary children's hospital. Patients were considered high risk if they were neonates (<30days), had single-ventricle physiology, non-dilated cardiomyopathy, biventricular dysfunction, or significant comorbidities. The quality improvement bundle evolved to include (1) structured team-based peri-operative evaluation, (2) weekly VAD rounds addressing post-operative device performance, (3) standardized anticoagulation strategies, and (4) a multidisciplinary system for management challenges. These measures aimed to improve communication, standardize management, allow for ongoing process improvement, and incorporate principles of a high-reliability organization. Between January 2010 and December 2017, 98 patients underwent VAD implantation, 48 (49%) of which had high-risk comorbidities and a resultant cohort survival-to-transplant rate of 65%. We report on the evolution of a quality improvement program to expand the scope of VAD implantation to patients with high-risk clinical profiles. This quality bundle can serve as a template for future large-scale collaborations to improve outcomes in these treatment-orphaned subgroups.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s00246-019-02123-1

    View details for PubMedID 31087144

  • Bridge to Transplant with Ventricular Assist Device Support in Pediatric Patients with Single Ventricle Heart Disease. ASAIO journal (American Society for Artificial Internal Organs : 1992) Chen, S., Rosenthal, D. N., Murray, J., Dykes, J. C., Almond, C. S., Yarlagadda, V. V., Wright, G., Navaratnam, M., Reinhartz, O., Maeda, K. 2019

    Abstract

    Ventricular assist device (VAD) support for children with single ventricle (SV) heart disease remains challenging. We performed a single-center retrospective review of SV patients on VAD support and examined survival to transplant using the Kaplan-Meier method. Patients transplanted were compared with those who died on support. Between 2009 and 2017, there were 14 SV patients with 1,112 patient-days of VAD support. Stages of palliation included pre-Glenn (n = 5), Glenn (n = 5), and Fontan (n = 4). Eight patients (57%) were successfully bridged to transplant at a median 107 days. Deaths occurred early (n = 6, median 16 days) and in smaller patients (10.1 vs. 28.3 kg, P = 0.04). All Fontan patients survived to transplant, whereas only 20% of Glenn patients survived to transplant. Adverse events occurred in 79% (n = 11). Five patients met hospital discharge criteria, with two patients (one pre-Glenn, one Glenn) discharged and transplanted after 219 and 174 days of VAD support. All transplanted patients were discharged at a median 21 days posttransplant. SV patients in various stages of palliation can be successfully bridged to transplant with VAD support. With use of intracorporeal continuous-flow devices, longer-term support and hospital discharge are possible.

    View details for PubMedID 30864969

  • Parental Acquisition of Echocardiographic Images in Pediatric Heart Transplant Patients Using a Handheld Device: A Pilot Telehealth Study JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF ECHOCARDIOGRAPHY Dykes, J. C., Kipps, A. K., Chen, A., Nourse, S., Rosenthal, D. N., Tierney, E. 2019; 32 (3): 404–11
  • Long-term surveillance biopsy: Is it necessary after pediatric heart transplant? PEDIATRIC TRANSPLANTATION Peng, D. M., Ding, V. Y., Hollander, S. A., Khalapyan, T., Dykes, J. C., Rosenthal, D. N., Almond, C. S., Sakarovitch, C., Desai, M., McElhinney, D. B. 2019; 23 (1)

    View details for DOI 10.1111/petr.13330

    View details for Web of Science ID 000457579500023

  • Commentary: Improving donor size matching in pediatric heart transplantation-Moving beyond body weight. The Journal of thoracic and cardiovascular surgery Maeda, K. n., Dykes, J. C. 2019

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jtcvs.2019.07.026

    View details for PubMedID 31439351

  • Parental Acquisition of Echocardiographic Images in Pediatric Heart Transplant Patients Using a Handheld Device: A Pilot Telehealth Study. Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography : official publication of the American Society of Echocardiography Dykes, J. C., Kipps, A. K., Chen, A., Nourse, S., Rosenthal, D. N., Selamet Tierney, E. S. 2018

    Abstract

    BACKGROUND: Pediatric heart transplant patients (PedHtx) require frequent monitoring by echocardiography (echo); however, they often live far from hospitals with pediatric echo services, resulting in urgent/emergent transfers to specialized institutions. Our primary objective was to evaluate the feasibility of parental acquisition of echo images to assess left ventricular (LV) systolic function in PedHtx using a handheld echo device. Secondary objectives included retesting for skill maintenance and in patients with decreased LV systolic function.METHODS: During a routine clinic visit, parents received 1-hour training with a handheld echo device to acquire images in parasternal short-axis and apical views. Parents recorded images on their children at training completion and 24hours later at home. An independent echocardiographer assessed clinic, training, and home echos for LV systolic function.RESULTS: Fifteen PedHtx (mean age of 12.6years of age; range, 4.1-16.7) were enrolled. All parents could acquire home images adequate for qualitative assessment of LV systolic function with no discrepancy compared with clinical echos. LV ejection fraction (LVEF) could be calculated (5/6 area-length method) in 86% of training and 43% of home echos with <10% difference in LVEF measurements between home and clinic echos. Five parents repeated home echos >12months later. All home echos were adequate for qualitative assessment of LV systolic function (LVEF measurable in two). Additionally, five heart failure patients with decreased LV systolic function (mean age of 8.6years; range 1.9-15.1) were enrolled. All home echos were adequate for qualitative assessment of LV systolic function (LVEF measurable in one).CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that parental home echo acquisition using a handheld echo device is feasible and adequate for qualitative assessment of LV systolic function in PedHtx. However, quantitative assessment of LV systolic function, especially in patients with dysfunction, and retention of the skill set without additional training are suboptimal.

    View details for PubMedID 30598367

  • Long-term surveillance biopsy: Is it necessary after pediatric heart transplant? Pediatric transplantation Peng, D. M., Ding, V. Y., Hollander, S. A., Khalapyan, T., Dykes, J. C., Rosenthal, D. N., Almond, C. S., Sakarovitch, C., Desai, M., McElhinney, D. B. 2018: e13330

    Abstract

    Due to limited and conflicting data in pediatric patients, long-term routine surveillance endomyocardial biopsy (RSB) in pediatric heart transplant (HT) remains controversial. We sought to characterize the rate of positive RSB and determine factors associated with RSB-detected rejection. Records of patients transplanted at a single institution from 1995 to 2015 with >2year of post-HT biopsy data were reviewed for RSB-detected rejections occurring >2year post-HT. We illustrated the trajectory of significant rejections (ISHLT Grade ≥3A/2R) among total RSB performed over time and used multivariable logistic regression to model the association between time and risk of rejection. We estimated Kaplan-Meier freedom from rejection rates by patient characteristics and used the log-rank test to assess differences in rejection probabilities. We identified the best-fitting Cox proportional hazards regression model. In 140 patients, 86% did not have any episodes of significant RSB-detected rejection >2year post-HT. The overall empirical rate of RSB-detected rejection >2year post-HT was 2.9/100 patient-years. The percentage of rejection among 815 RSB was 2.6% and remained stable over time. Years since transplant remained unassociated with rejection risk after adjusting for patient characteristics (OR=0.98; 95% CI 0.78-1.23; P=0.86). Older age at HT was the only factor that remained significantly associated with risk of RSB-detected rejection under multivariable Cox analysis (P=0.008). Most pediatric patients did not have RSB-detected rejection beyond 2years post-HT, and the majority of those who did were older at time of HT. Indiscriminate long-term RSB in pediatric heart transplant should be reconsidered given the low rate of detected rejection.

    View details for PubMedID 30506612

  • An Alternative Approach by HeartWare Ventricular Assist Device in Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy ANNALS OF THORACIC SURGERY Maeda, K., Nasirov, T., Rosenthal, D. N., Dykes, J. C. 2018; 106 (5): E231–E232
  • An Alternative Approach by HVAD Ventricular Assist Device in Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. The Annals of thoracic surgery Maeda, K., Nasirov, T., Rosenthal, D. N., Dykes, J. C. 2018

    Abstract

    Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is known to be difficult to support by left ventricular assist device due to the small ventricular cavity and inadequate drainage. Therefore, instead of cannulating on the left ventricular apex, Heartware HVAD ventricular device was connected to the left atrium through right atrium onto atrial septum using ringed Goretex interposition graft. The patient has been discharged home after VAD implant and underwent successful heart transplant after 111 days of support without any complications including any thromboembolic events. This new trans-atrial left atrial cannulation technique can be an alternative approach for VAD cannulation in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. It can be safely performed with the Heartware HVAD.

    View details for PubMedID 29807009

  • Functional status of United States children supported with a left ventricular assist device at heart transplantation. journal of heart and lung transplantation : the official publication of the International Society for Heart Transplantation Bulic, A., Maeda, K., Zhang, Y., Chen, S., McElhinney, D. B., Dykes, J. C., Hollander, A. M., Hollander, S. A., Murray, J., Reinhartz, O., Gowan, M. A., Rosenthal, D. N., Almond, C. S. 2017

    Abstract

    As survival with pediatric left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) has improved, decisions regarding the optimal support strategy may depend more on quality of life and functional status (FS) rather than mortality alone. Limited data are available regarding the FS of children supported with LVADs. We sought to compare the FS of children supported with LVADs vs vasoactive infusions to inform decision making around support strategies.Organ Procurement and Transplant Network data were used to identify all United States children aged between 1 and 21 years at heart transplant (HT) between 2006 and 2015 for dilated cardiomyopathy and supported with an LVAD or vasoactive infusions alone at HT. FS was measured using the 10-point Karnofsky and Lansky scale.Of 701 children who met the inclusion criteria, 430 (61%) were supported with vasoactive infusions, and 271 (39%) were supported with an LVAD at HT. Children in the LVAD group had higher median FS scores at HT than children in the vasoactive infusion group (6 vs 5, p < 0.001) but lower FS scores at listing (4 vs 6, p < 0.001). The effect persisted regardless of patient location at HT (home, hospital, intensive care) or device type. Discharge by HT occurred in 46% of children in the LVAD group compared with 26% of children in the vasoactive infusion cohort (p = 0.001). Stroke was reported at HT in 3% of children in the LVAD cohort and in 1% in the vasoactive infusion cohort (p = 0.04).Among children with dilated cardiomyopathy undergoing HT, children supported with LVADs at HT have higher FS than children supported with vasoactive infusions at HT, regardless of device type or hospitalization status. Children supported with LVADs at HT were more likely to be discharged from the hospital but had a higher prevalence of stroke at HT.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.healun.2017.02.024

    View details for PubMedID 28363739

  • The End of Life Experience of Pediatric Heart Transplant Recipients. Journal of pain and symptom management Hollander, S. A., Dykes, J., Chen, S., Barkoff, L., Sourkes, B., Cohen, H., Rosenthal, D. N., Bernstein, D., Kaufman, B. D. 2017

    Abstract

    Despite advances in therapies, many pediatric heart transplant (Htx) recipients will die prematurely. We characterized the circumstances surrounding death in this cohort, including location of death and interventions performed in the final 24 hours.We reviewed all patients who underwent Htx at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, Stanford, survived hospital discharge, and subsequently died between July 19, 2007 and September 13, 2015. The primary outcome studied was location of death, characterized as inpatient, outpatient, or emergency department. Circumstances of death (withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment, death during resuscitation, or death without resuscitation with/without do not resuscitate) and interventions performed in the last 24 hours of life were also analyzed.Twenty-three patients met the entry criteria. The median age at death was 12 (range 2-20) years, and the median time between transplant and death was 2.8 (range 0.8-11) years. Four (17%) died at home, and three (13%) died in the emergency department. Sixteen (70%) patients died in the hospital, 14 of 16 (88%) of whom died in an intensive care unit. Five of 23 (22%) patients experienced attempted resuscitation. Interventions performed in the last 24 hours of life included intubation (74%), mechanical support (30%), and dialysis (22%). Most patients had a recent outpatient clinical encounter with normal graft function within 60 days of dying.Death in children after Htx often occurs in the inpatient setting, particularly the intensive care unit. Medical interventions, including attempted resuscitation, are common at the end of life. Given the difficulty in anticipating life-threatening events, earlier discussions with patients regarding end-of-life wishes are appropriate, even in those with normal graft function.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jpainsymman.2016.12.334

    View details for PubMedID 28063864

  • Haemodynamic profiles of children with end-stage heart failure. European heart journal Chen, S. n., Dykes, J. C., McElhinney, D. B., Gajarski, R. J., Shin, A. Y., Hollander, S. A., Everitt, M. E., Price, J. F., Thiagarajan, R. R., Kindel, S. J., Rossano, J. W., Kaufman, B. D., May, L. J., Pruitt, E. n., Rosenthal, D. N., Almond, C. S. 2017; 38 (38): 2900–2909

    Abstract

    To evaluate associations between haemodynamic profiles and symptoms, end-organ function and outcome in children listed for heart transplantation.Children <18 years listed for heart transplant between 1993 and 2013 with cardiac catheterization data [pulmonary capillary wedge pressure (PCWP), right atrial pressure (RAP), and cardiac index (CI)] in the Pediatric Heart Transplant Study database were included. Outcomes were New York Heart Association (NYHA)/Ross classification, renal and hepatic dysfunction, and death or clinical deterioration while on waitlist. Among 1059 children analysed, median age was 6.9 years and 46% had dilated cardiomyopathy. Overall, 58% had congestion (PCWP >15 mmHg), 28% had severe congestion (PCWP >22 mmHg), and 22% low cardiac output (CI < 2.2 L/min/m2). Twenty-one per cent met the primary outcome of death (9%) or clinical deterioration (12%). In multivariable analysis, worse NYHA/Ross classification was associated with increased PCWP [odds ratio (OR) 1.03, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.01-1.07, P = 0.01], renal dysfunction with increased RAP (OR 1.04, 95% CI 1.01-1.08, P = 0.007), and hepatic dysfunction with both increased PCWP (OR 1.03, 95% CI 1.01-1.06, P < 0.001) and increased RAP (OR 1.09, 95% CI 1.06-1.12, P < 0.001). There were no associations with low output. Death or clinical deterioration was associated with severe congestion (OR 1.6, 95% CI 1.2-2.2, P = 0.002), but not with CI alone. However, children with both low output and severe congestion were at highest risk (OR 1.9, 95% CI 1.1-3.5, P = 0.03).Congestion is more common than low cardiac output in children with end-stage heart failure and correlates with NYHA/Ross classification and end-organ dysfunction. Children with both congestion and low output have the highest risk of death or clinical deterioration.

    View details for PubMedID 29019615

  • Alternative Strategy for Biventricular Assist Device in an Infant With Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. The Annals of thoracic surgery Dykes, J. C., Reinhartz, O. n., Almond, C. S., Yarlagadda, V. n., Murray, J. n., Rosenthal, D. N., Maeda, K. n. 2017; 104 (2): e185–e186

    Abstract

    We report an infant with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy who underwent biventricular assist device placement with two 15-mL Berlin Heart EXCOR pediatric ventricular assist devices using an alternative atrial cannulation strategy. The systemic circulation was supported by left atrium (LA) to aorta cannulation. The LA was accessed through the right atrium by extending a 6-mm EXCOR cannula with a Gore-Tex graft connected to an atrial septal defect. The pulmonary circulation was supported with cannulation of the right atrium to pulmonary artery. This alternative cannulation strategy facilitated effective biventricular support and may be applicable to other patients with hypertrophic or restrictive physiology.

    View details for PubMedID 28734448

  • Temporary Circulatory Support in U.S. Children Awaiting Heart Transplantation. Journal of the American College of Cardiology Yarlagadda, V. V., Maeda, K. n., Zhang, Y. n., Chen, S. n., Dykes, J. C., Gowen, M. A., Shuttleworth, P. n., Murray, J. M., Shin, A. Y., Reinhartz, O. n., Rosenthal, D. N., McElhinney, D. B., Almond, C. S. 2017; 70 (18): 2250–60

    Abstract

    Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) has long served as the standard of care for short-term mechanical circulatory support in pediatrics. It is unknown whether newer-generation temporary circulatory support (TCS) devices afford children a meaningful survival advantage over ECMO.This study sought to determine whether bridge-to-heart transplant survival with a TCS device is superior to ECMO after adjusting for patient differences.All children ≤21 years of age listed for heart transplant from 2011 to 2015 who received a TCS device or ECMO as a bridge to transplant were identified using Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network data. Children supported with a TCS device were compared with a propensity score (PS)-matched cohort of children supported with ECMO as a bridge to transplant. The primary endpoint was Kaplan-Meier survival to transplant.The number of TCS devices implanted in children increased from ≤3 per year before 2011 to 50 in 2015. Overall, 93 patients implanted with TCS devices were included for analysis (59% left ventricular assist devices, 23% right ventricular assist devices, 18% biventricular assist devices). The most commonly used device was the CentriMag-PediMag system (65%), followed by TandemHeart (18%), Rotaflow (6%), and Impella (5%). Among 164 PS-matched patients, support duration was longer for the TCS cohort (median 19 days vs. 6 days; p < 0.001), and was longest for the CentriMag-PediMag (24 days vs. 6 days; p < 0.001) with 27% supported for >60 days. Compared with the ECMO cohort, the PS-matched TCS cohort had longer survival to transplant (hazard ratio: 0.49; 95% confidence interval: 0.30 to 0.79) and longer overall survival (hazard ratio: 0.61; 95% confidence interval: 0.39 to 0.96), with 90-day mortality before transplant that was modestly reduced (from 45% with ECMO to 39% with TCS).The use of TCS devices in children as a bridge to transplant has risen rapidly in recent years, led by the growth of magnetically levitated centrifugal flow pumps. Compared with conventional ECMO, TCS durations are longer, and more importantly, patient survival is superior.

    View details for PubMedID 29073953