What have we learnt 50 years after the first Fontan procedure?
The Fontan procedure is often the only definitive palliative surgical option for patients with a variety of complex CHD sharing in common, a single, dominant ventricle. In recent decades, imaging and therapeutic improvement have played a crucial role in those patients in whom many complications can hamper their life. After 50 years from the first procedure, heart transplantation remains the only definitive treatment for those with a failing Fontan circulation.
End-stage heart failure that is refractory to medical therapy constitutes 5% of total heart failure population but has profound effects on quality of life with dismal survival1. Palliative options with or without ionotropic therapies remained the only route for majority of these patients, with only few eligible for orthotropic heart transplant. The advent of durable left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) changed this paradigm after showing drastically improved outcomes, and are now widely accepted therapeutic options for eligible patients2-4.
Patients with heart failure (HF) requiring advanced therapies (AT) or palliative inotropes have been well described in the literature, but less is known regarding their earlier clinical course. Patients started on inotropes may be appropriate candidates for AT, yet do not always receive timely evaluations. Given the high mortality associated with end stage HF, we investigated the clinical characteristics and outcomes of HF patients after initiation of inotrope therapy.
Long-term, continuous intravenous inotropic support (CIIS) is frequently initiated for palliation of symptoms related to advanced heart failure (AHF) in patients who are not eligible for heart transplantation or mechanical circulatory support (MCS). Although the use of CIIS has increased in prevalence over the past decade, robust data regarding quality of life (QOL) outcomes in these patients are lacking. We wished to describe healthcare utilization and QOL outcomes in patients on palliative CIIS.
Risk factors such as diabetes mellitus (DM) have been associated with increased risk of mortality in patients with heart failure (HF). Obesity in diabetic patients worsens outcomes. However, there appears to be an obesity paradox in which stable HF patients with higher body mass index (BMI) have better survival. We sought to evaluate the association of DM and BMI with mortality in patients with end stage HF on palliative inotropic therapy.
Cardiac allograft vasculopathy (CAV) is one of the leading causes of late mortality among heart transplant recipients. Retransplantation, although considered the only definitive therapy, is not a feasible option for most patients. Percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) with drug eluting stents (DES) or bare metal stents (BMS) has become a palliative, more accessible therapy. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to investigate clinical outcomes of DES vs BMS.
To evaluate the clinical characteristics of patients withdrawn from veno-arterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation support (VA-ECMO), as well as the role of palliative care (PC) consultation in the decision to withdraw VA-ECMO.
The American Heart Association and American Stroke Association have put forth statement recommending early and continuous access to palliative care for patients with heart disease. There is a national shortage of palliative care providers, and often outpatient palliative care clinics are not profitable to institutions with billing alone. However, early integration of palliative care has been proven to improve the quality of life of patients with advanced heart failure. Other studies have suggested that general palliative care has cost savings to hospital systems.
Palliative care (PC) has been shown to improve outcomes for seriously ill patients but has not been fully integrated into the care of lung transplant patients. Little is known about the palliative care needs for this population. Our goal was to describe adult lung transplant candidates ’ perspectives of their PC needs.
Publication date: February 2020Source: Canadian Journal of Cardiology, Volume 36, Issue 2Author(s): Ashlay A. Huitema, Karen Harkness, Shiraz Malik, Neville Suskin, Robert S. McKelvieAbstractGlobally, there are ∼ 26 million people living with heart failure (HF), 50% of them with reduced ejection fraction, costing countries billions of dollars each year. Improvements in treatment of cardiovascular diseases, including advanced HF, have allowed an unprecedented number of patients to survive into old age. Despite these advances, patients with HF deteriorate and often require advanced therapies. As the proportion of elderly...
This article reviews current trends in the use of DT VAD and adverse events in children vs adults on VAD, and provides a framework for patient selection with the use of a multidisciplinary approach including palliative care. The general approach to determining DT VAD candidacy should include: 1) a reasonable success that the patient will survive the peri- and postoperative state; and 2) a high likelihood that the patient will be able to be discharged out of hospital and have adequate caregiver support. Patients with muscular dystrophy and failing Fontan physiology are examples of pediatric populations for whom DT VAD may b...