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Ann Thorac Surg. 2004 Oct;78(4):1403-8.

Current status of surgery for rheumatic carditis in children.

Author information

  • 1Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Primary Children's Medical Center and the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah 84113, USA. neal.hillman@hsc.utah.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The incidence of rheumatic heart disease (RHD) has increased recently in the western United States. We reviewed our 18-year surgical experience with RHD in children to examine current surgical techniques and results.

METHODS:

From 1985 until 2003, 596 children (<21 years) with rheumatic fever were seen at Primary Children's Medical Center. Rheumatic carditis was diagnosed in 366 patients (61.4%). Twenty-six with carditis (26/366, 7.1%) required operation for rheumatic valve disease including 8 for mitral regurgitation, 7 for mitral and aortic regurgitation, 4 for aortic regurgitation, 4 for mitral regurgitation and stenosis, 2 for combined mitral stenosis and regurgitation with aortic insufficiency, and 1 for mitral and tricuspid regurgitation.

RESULTS:

Mean age at operation was 13.5 +/- 4 years. Three patients required operation during the acute phase of rheumatic fever (< 6 weeks), 2 during the subacute phase (< 6 months), and 21 during the chronic phase after the episode of rheumatic fever (6.7 +/- 3 years). Mitral valve repair was possible in 19 of 22 patients who required mitral operation. Aortic valve repair was possible in 4 patients whereas replacement was necessary in 9, including 2 Ross procedures. No operative deaths were recorded and 2 late deaths occurred at 4.6 and 10 years. Actuarial survival was 94% at 5 years and 78% at 10 years. Six patients required reoperation; actuarial freedom from reoperation was 78% at 5 years, 65% at 10 years, and 49% at 15 years. All survivors are in New York Heart Association class I or II.

CONCLUSIONS:

Children with RHD in the United States uncommonly require valve operation. Mitral repair with a technique that allows annular growth is possible in most children with good long-term functional results. Long-term surveillance of children with RHD is necessary because of the possible need for late valve operation.

PMID:
15464505
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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