Background This is the first national survey of residents and fellows in pediatric cardiology in Germany evaluating training, research activity, and the general working environment.
Methods An online questionnaire including 62 questions (SurveyMonkey) was developed by the “Junges Forum” of the German Society of Pediatric Cardiology. Fellows and residents during training and up to 3 years after completing their pediatric cardiology fellowship were invited to participate.
Results A total of 102 pediatric cardiology fellows and residents completed the questionnaire. Many participants complained about their training as being unstructured (47%) and non-transparent (37%). The numbers of technical and catheter interventions required by the national medical board in Germany cannot be achieved, especially regarding invasive procedures. Sixty per cent work more than contractually agreed, usually in Germany it is 40 hours daytime work plus on calls, while 90% of all participants prefer less than 50 weekly working hours; 50% of the participants are engaged in research that is usually done during their spare time. More than 90% are satisfied with their professional relationships with colleagues and coworkers. Seventy-eight per cent describe their career perspectives as promising, and 84% would start a fellowship in pediatric cardiology again.
Conclusion The majority of pediatric cardiology fellows and residents are satisfied with their working environment and with their choice of a career in pediatric cardiology. Besides the heavy work load, we identified the urgent desire for better structured transparent clinical training concept including the teaching of manual skills, i.e., invasive procedures and catheterization.
Existing surgical sealants fail to combine design requirements, such as sealing performance, on-demand activation and biocompatibility. The aim of this study was to compare the effectiveness and safety of the SETALIUM™ Vascular Sealant (SVS), a novel, on-demand activatable sealant, with the commercial sealant, BioGlue®, for the repair of vascular defects.
In an in vivo porcine model, the use of SVS was compared with BioGlue, for sealing 2-mm defects of the carotid artery and jugular vein. Animals were followed for 7 days and 5 weeks (each time point and per experimental group, n = 4), respectively. The degree of stenosis and flow velocity was determined, and the local tissue response was evaluated.
In vivo incision closure succeeded in all cases, and SVS was superior in clinical usability, enabled by its on-demand activation. Unlike BioGlue, SVS use did not induce stenosis and was associated with physiological blood flow in all cases. Moreover, closure with SVS was associated with a low inflammatory reaction and no thrombus formation or intima proliferation, in contrast to BioGlue.
SVS demonstrated effective and rapid sealing of 2-mm vascular defects, with favourable biocompatibility compared to BioGlue. Thus, SVS seems to be an effective and safe vascular sealant.
BackgroundThe thyroid gland of patients with congenital heart disease may be exposed to large doses of iodine from various sources. We assessed the thyroid response after iodine exposure during conventional angiography in cardiac catheterization and angiographic computer tomography in childhood.MethodsRetrospective mid- to long-term follow-up of 104 individuals (24% neonates, 51% infants, 25% children) with a median age and body weight of 104 days [0–8 years] and 5.3 kg [1.6–20]. Serum levels of thyroid-stimulating hormone, free triiodthyronine and free thyroxine were evaluated at baseline and after excess iodine. We also assessed risk factors that may affect thyroid dysfunction.ResultsBaseline thyroidal levels were within normal range in all patients. The mean cumulative iodinate contrast load was 6.6 ± 1.6 mL/kg. In fact, 75% had experienced more than one event involving iodine exposure, whose median frequency was three times per patient [1–12]. During the median three years follow-up period [0.5–10], the incidence of thyroid dysfunction was 15.4% (n=16). Those patients developed acquired hypothyroidism (transient n=14, long-lasting n=2 [both died]) with 10 of them requiring temporary replacement therapy for transient thyroid dysfunction, while four patients recovered spontaneously. 88 individuals (84.6%) remained euthyroid. Repeated cardiac interventions, use of drugs that interfere with the thyroid and treatment in the intensive care unit at the index date were strong predictors for acquired thyroid dysfunction.ConclusionsThe incidence of acquired hypothyroidism after iodine excess was 15.4%. However, most patients developed only transient hypothyroidism. Systemic iodine exposure seems to be clinically and metabolically well tolerated during long-term follow-up.
The study describes our experience with Amplatzer Vascular Plugs (AVP2 and 4) and highlights a more refindes telescopic technique for AVP2 delivery. AVPs are well-established occlusion devices for vascular anomalies in congenital heart disease (CHD). The AVP2 is sometimes preferred to the AVP4 due to its shorter length, flat-profiled retention disks, and the availability of larger diameters, but its profile requires a larger inner lumen for safe delivery. The latter may actually hamper access to target lesions. This is a retrospective analysis of all CHD patients treated with the AVP2 and AVP4 between 12/2012 and 12/2015. Target vessels were characterized, measured, and the device-to-vessel diameter ratio calculated. A modified pigtail technique for AVP2 delivery was frequently used: a floppy wire was simply reinforced by the curved tip of a pigtail catheter (instead of the long sheath's dilator) to guide the required delivery sheath towards the desired landing zone. 59 patients with a median age and bodyweight of 3.0 years (range 0.1-75) and 13.8 kg (range 2.5-80) underwent the implantation of 106 plug-devices (30 AVP2, 76 AVP4) in 91 target vessels. Indications for their use were ductus arteriosus (19%), aortopulmonary (43%) as well as venovenous collaterals (34%) and other miscellaneous lesions (4%). The pigtail-supported AVP2 delivery in six patients proved very convenient. No complications occurred. AVPs are excellent devices for embolizing shunt vessels in CHD patients. Here, we describe a simplified telescoping technique for AVP2 delivery to enter curvy target lesions gently and efficiently.
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