Publications by authors named "Daniel Keene"

56 Publications

Randomized blinded placebo-controlled trials of renal sympathetic denervation for hypertension: A meta-analysis.

Cardiovasc Revasc Med 2021 Jan 30. Epub 2021 Jan 30.

National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom.

Background: The efficacy of renal denervation has been controversial, but the procedure has now undergone several placebo-controlled trials. New placebo-controlled trial data has recently emerged, with longer follow-up of one trial and the full report of another trial (which constitutes 27% of the total placebo-controlled trial data). We therefore sought to evaluate the effect of renal denervation on ambulatory and office blood pressures in patients with hypertension.

Methods: We systematically identified all blinded placebo-controlled randomized trials of catheter-based renal denervation for hypertension. The primary efficacy outcome was ambulatory systolic blood pressure change relative to placebo. A random-effects meta-analysis was performed.

Results: 6 studies randomizing 1232 patients were eligible. 713 patients were randomized to renal denervation and 519 to placebo. Renal denervation significantly reduced ambulatory systolic blood pressure (-3.52 mmHg; 95% CI -4.94 to -2.09; p < 0.0001), ambulatory diastolic blood pressure (-1.93 mmHg; 95% CI -3.04 to -0.83, p = 0.0006), office systolic blood pressure size (-5.10 mmHg; 95% CI -7.31 to -2.90, p < 0.0001) and office diastolic pressure (effect size -3.11 mmHg; 95% CI -4.43 to -1.78, p < 0.0001). Adverse events were rare and not more common with denervation.

Conclusions: The totality of blinded, randomized placebo-controlled data shows that renal denervation is safe and provides genuine reduction in blood pressure for at least 6 months post-procedure. If this effect continues in the long term, renal denervation might provide a life-long 10% relative risk reduction in major adverse cardiac events and 7.5% relative risk reduction in all-cause mortality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.carrev.2021.01.031DOI Listing
January 2021

Electrocardiographic predictors of successful resynchronization of left bundle branch block by His bundle pacing.

J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol 2021 Feb 4;32(2):428-438. Epub 2021 Jan 4.

National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, Hammersmith Hospital, London, UK.

Background: His bundle pacing (HBP) is an alternative to biventricular pacing (BVP) for delivering cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) in patients with heart failure and left bundle branch block (LBBB). It is not known whether ventricular activation times and patterns achieved by HBP are equivalent to intact conduction systems and not all patients with LBBB are resynchronized by HBP.

Objective: To compare activation times and patterns of His-CRT with BVP-CRT, LBBB and intact conduction systems.

Methods: In patients with LBBB, noninvasive epicardial mapping (ECG imaging) was performed during BVP and temporary HBP. Intrinsic activation was mapped in all subjects. Left ventricular activation times (LVAT) were measured and epicardial propagation mapping (EPM) was performed, to visualize epicardial wavefronts. Normal activation pattern and a normal LVAT range were determined from normal subjects.

Results: Forty-five patients were included, 24 with LBBB and LV impairment, and 21 with normal 12-lead ECG and LV function. In 87.5% of patients with LBBB, His-CRT successfully shortened LVAT by ≥10 ms. In 33.3%, His-CRT resulted in complete ventricular resynchronization, with activation times and patterns indistinguishable from normal subjects. EPM identified propagation discontinuity artifacts in 83% of patients with LBBB. This was the best predictor of whether successful resynchronization was achieved by HBP (logarithmic odds ratio, 2.19; 95% confidence interval, 0.07-4.31; p = .04).

Conclusion: Noninvasive electrocardiographic mapping appears to identify patients whose LBBB can be resynchronized by HBP. In contrast to BVP, His-CRT may deliver the maximum potential ventricular resynchronization, returning activation times, and patterns to those seen in normal hearts.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jce.14845DOI Listing
February 2021

Within-patient comparison of His-bundle pacing, right ventricular pacing, and right ventricular pacing avoidance algorithms in patients with PR prolongation: Acute hemodynamic study.

J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol 2020 11 5;31(11):2964-2974. Epub 2020 Oct 5.

National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, Hammersmith Hospital, London, UK.

Aims: A prolonged PR interval may adversely affect ventricular filling and, therefore, cardiac function. AV delay can be corrected using right ventricular pacing (RVP), but this induces ventricular dyssynchrony, itself harmful. Therefore, in intermittent heart block, pacing avoidance algorithms are often implemented. We tested His-bundle pacing (HBP) as an alternative.

Methods: Outpatients with a long PR interval (>200 ms) and intermittent need for ventricular pacing were recruited. We measured within-patient differences in high-precision hemodynamics between AV-optimized RVP and HBP, as well as a pacing avoidance algorithm (Managed Ventricular Pacing [MVP]).

Results: We recruited 18 patients. Mean left ventricular ejection fraction was 44.3 ± 9%. Mean intrinsic PR interval was 266 ± 42 ms and QRS duration was 123 ± 29 ms. RVP lengthened QRS duration (+54 ms, 95% CI 42-67 ms, p < .0001) while HBP delivered a shorter QRS duration than RVP (-56 ms, 95% CI -67 to -46 ms, p < .0001). HBP did not increase QRS duration (-2 ms, 95% CI -8 to 13 ms, p = .6). HBP improved acute systolic blood pressure by mean of 5.0 mmHg (95% CI 2.8-7.1 mmHg, p < .0001) compared to RVP and by 3.5 mmHg (95% CI 1.9-5.0 mmHg, p = .0002) compared to the pacing avoidance algorithm. There was no significant difference in hemodynamics between RVP and ventricular pacing avoidance (p = .055).

Conclusions: HBP provides better acute cardiac function than pacing avoidance algorithms and RVP, in patients with prolonged PR intervals. HBP allows normalization of prolonged AV delays (unlike pacing avoidance) and does not cause ventricular dyssynchrony (unlike RVP). Clinical trials may be justified to assess whether these acute improvements translate into longer term clinical benefits in patients with bradycardia indications for pacing.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jce.14763DOI Listing
November 2020

Discriminating electrocardiographic responses to His-bundle pacing using machine learning.

Cardiovasc Digit Health J 2020 Jul-Aug;1(1):11-20

National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, Hammersmith Hospital, London, United Kingdom.

Background: His-bundle pacing (HBP) has emerged as an alternative to conventional ventricular pacing because of its ability to deliver physiological ventricular activation. Pacing at the His bundle produces different electrocardiographic (ECG) responses: selective His-bundle pacing (S-HBP), non-selective His bundle pacing (NS-HBP), and myocardium-only capture (MOC). These 3 capture types must be distinguished from each other, which can be challenging and time-consuming even for experts.

Objective: The purpose of this study was to use artificial intelligence (AI) in the form of supervised machine learning using a convolutional neural network (CNN) to automate HBP ECG interpretation.

Methods: We identified patients who had undergone HBP and extracted raw 12-lead ECG data during S-HBP, NS-HBP, and MOC. A CNN was trained, using 3-fold cross-validation, on 75% of the segmented QRS complexes labeled with their capture type. The remaining 25% was kept aside as a testing dataset.

Results: The CNN was trained with 1297 QRS complexes from 59 patients. Cohen kappa for the neural network's performance on the 17-patient testing set was 0.59 (95% confidence interval 0.30 to 0.88; <.0001), with an overall accuracy of 75%. The CNN's accuracy in the 17-patient testing set was 67% for S-HBP, 71% for NS-HBP, and 84% for MOC.

Conclusion: We demonstrated proof of concept that a neural network can be trained to automate discrimination between HBP ECG responses. When a larger dataset is trained to higher accuracy, automated AI ECG analysis could facilitate HBP implantation and follow-up and prevent complications resulting from incorrect HBP ECG analysis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cvdhj.2020.07.001DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7484933PMC
September 2020

His bundle pacing, learning curve, procedure characteristics, safety, and feasibility: Insights from a large international observational study.

J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol 2019 10 2;30(10):1984-1993. Epub 2019 Aug 2.

National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, London.

Background: His-bundle pacing (HBP) provides physiological ventricular activation. Observational studies have demonstrated the techniques' feasibility; however, data have come from a limited number of centers.

Objectives: We set out to explore the contemporary global practice in HBP focusing on the learning curve, procedural characteristics, and outcomes.

Methods: This is a retrospective, multicenter observational study of patients undergoing attempted HBP at seven centers. Pacing indication, fluoroscopy time, HBP thresholds, and lead reintervention and deactivation rates were recorded. Where centers had systematically recorded implant success rates from the outset, these were collated.

Results: A total of 529 patients underwent attempted HBP during the study period (2014-19) with a mean follow-up of 217 ± 303 days. Most implants were for bradycardia indications. In the three centers with the systematic collation of all attempts, the overall implant success rate was 81%, which improved to 87% after completion of 40 cases. All seven centers reported data on successful implants. The mean fluoroscopy time was 11.7 ± 12.0 minutes, the His-bundle capture threshold at implant was 1.4 ± 0.9 V at 0.8 ± 0.3 ms, and it was 1.3 ± 1.2 V at 0.9 ± 0.2 ms at last device check. HBP lead reintervention or deactivation (for lead displacement or rise in threshold) occurred in 7.5% of successful implants. There was evidence of a learning curve: fluoroscopy time and HBP capture threshold reduced with greater experience, plateauing after approximately 30-50 cases.

Conclusion: We found that it is feasible to establish a successful HBP program, using the currently available implantation tools. For physicians who are experienced at pacemaker implantation, the steepest part of the learning curve appears to be over the first 30-50 cases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jce.14064DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7038224PMC
October 2019

Quantification of Electromechanical Coupling to Prevent Inappropriate Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillator Shocks.

JACC Clin Electrophysiol 2019 06 27;5(6):705-715. Epub 2019 Mar 27.

Department of Cardiology, Imperial College Hospitals National Health Service Trust, London, United Kingdom; National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom.

Objectives: This study sought to test specialized processing of laser Doppler signals for discriminating ventricular fibrillation (VF) from common causes of inappropriate therapies.

Background: Inappropriate implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) therapies remain a clinically important problem associated with morbidity and mortality. Tissue perfusion biomarkers, implemented to assist automated diagnosis of VF, sometimes mistake artifacts and random noise for perfusion, which could lead to shocks being inappropriately withheld.

Methods: The study tested a novel processing algorithm that combines electrogram data and laser Doppler perfusion monitoring as a method for assessing circulatory status. Fifty patients undergoing VF induction during ICD implantation were recruited. Noninvasive laser Doppler and continuous electrograms were recorded during both sinus rhythm and VF. Two additional scenarios that might have led to inappropriate shocks were simulated for each patient: ventricular lead fracture and T-wave oversensing. The laser Doppler was analyzed using 3 methods for reducing noise: 1) running mean; 2) oscillatory height; and 3) a novel quantification of electromechanical coupling which gates laser Doppler relative to electrograms. In addition, the algorithm was tested during exercise-induced sinus tachycardia.

Results: Only the electromechanical coupling algorithm found a clear perfusion cut off between sinus rhythm and VF (sensitivity and specificity of 100%). Sensitivity and specificity remained at 100% during simulated lead fracture and electrogram oversensing. (Area under the curve running mean: 0.91; oscillatory height: 0.86; electromechanical coupling: 1.00). Sinus tachycardia did not cause false positive results.

Conclusions: Quantifying the coupling between electrical and perfusion signals increases reliability of discrimination between VF and artifacts that ICDs may interpret as VF. Incorporating such methods into future ICDs may safely permit reductions of inappropriate shocks.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jacep.2019.01.025DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6597902PMC
June 2019

Cardiac Rhythm Device Identification Using Neural Networks.

JACC Clin Electrophysiol 2019 05 27;5(5):576-586. Epub 2019 Mar 27.

Department of Cardiology, National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom.

Objectives: This paper reports the development, validation, and public availability of a new neural network-based system which attempts to identify the manufacturer and even the model group of a pacemaker or defibrillator from a chest radiograph.

Background: Medical staff often need to determine the model of a pacemaker or defibrillator (cardiac rhythm device) quickly and accurately. Current approaches involve comparing a device's radiographic appearance with a manual flow chart.

Methods: In this study, radiographic images of 1,676 devices, comprising 45 models from 5 manufacturers were extracted. A convolutional neural network was developed to classify the images, using a training set of 1,451 images. The testing set contained an additional 225 images consisting of 5 examples of each model. The network's ability to identify the manufacturer of a device was compared with that of cardiologists, using a published flowchart.

Results: The neural network was 99.6% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 97.5% to 100.0%) accurate in identifying the manufacturer of a device from a radiograph and 96.4% (95% CI: 93.1% to 98.5%) accurate in identifying the model group. Among 5 cardiologists who used the flowchart, median identification of manufacturer accuracy was 72.0% (range 62.2% to 88.9%), and model group identification was not possible. The network's ability to identify the manufacturer of the devices was significantly superior to that of all the cardiologists (p < 0.0001 compared with the median human identification; p < 0.0001 compared with the best human identification).

Conclusions: A neural network can accurately identify the manufacturer and even model group of a cardiac rhythm device from a radiograph and exceeds human performance. This system may speed up the diagnosis and treatment of patients with cardiac rhythm devices, and it is publicly accessible online.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jacep.2019.02.003DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6537849PMC
May 2019

How to deliver personalized cardiac resynchronization therapy through the precise measurement of the acute hemodynamic response: Insights from the iSpot trial.

J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol 2019 09 25;30(9):1610-1619. Epub 2019 Jun 25.

International Centre for Circulatory Health, Imperial College London, Hammersmith Hospital, London, United Kingdom.

Introduction: New pacing technologies offer a greater choice of left ventricular pacing sites and greater personalization of cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT). The effects on cardiac function of novel pacing configurations are often compared using multi-beat averages of acute hemodynamic measurements. In this analysis of the iSpot trial, we explore whether this is sufficient.

Materials And Methods: The iSpot trial was an international, prospective, acute hemodynamic trial that assessed seven CRT configurations: standard CRT, MultiSpot (posterolateral vein), and MultiVein (anterior and posterior vein) pacing. Invasive and noninvasive blood pressure, and left ventricular (LV) dP/dt were recorded. Eight beats were recorded before and after an alternation from AAI to the tested pacing configuration and vice-versa. Eight alternations were performed for each configuration at each of the five atrioventricular delays.

Results: Twenty-five patients underwent the full protocol of eight alternations. Only four (16%) patients had a statistically significant >3 mm Hg improvement over conventional CRT configuration (posterolateral vein, distal electrode). However, if only one alternation was analyzed (standard multi-beat averaging protocol), 15 (60%) patients falsely appeared to have a superior nonconventional configuration. Responses to pacing were significantly correlated between the different hemodynamic measures: invasive systolic blood pressure (SBP) vs noninvasive SBP r = 0.82 (P < .001); invasive SBP vs LV dP/dt r = 0.57, r  = 0.32 (P < .001).

Conclusions: Current standard multibeat acquisition protocols are unfortunately unable to prevent false impressions of optimality arising in individual patients. Personalization processes need to include distinct repeated transitions to the tested pacing configuration in addition to averaging multiple beats. The need is not only during research stages but also during clinical implementation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jce.14001DOI Listing
September 2019

His Bundle Pacing: A New Strategy for Physiological Ventricular Activation.

J Am Heart Assoc 2019 03;8(6):e010972

1 Department of Cardiology Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust Swindon United Kingdom.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/JAHA.118.010972DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6475060PMC
March 2019

Device Programming for His Bundle Pacing.

Circ Arrhythm Electrophysiol 2019 02;12(2):e006816

Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine, Geisinger heart Institute, Wilkes Barre, PA (P.V.).

Although permanent His bundle pacing was first reported almost 2 decades ago, it is only recently gaining wider adoption, following facilitation of the implant procedure by dedicated tools. An additional challenge is programming the system, as His bundle pacing may have specific configurations and require special considerations which current implantable pulse generators are not designed for. The aim of this article is to provide practical recommendations for programming His bundle pacing, to deliver optimal therapy and ensure patient safety.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCEP.118.006816DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6420120PMC
February 2019

Right ventricular pacing for hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy: meta-analysis and meta-regression of clinical trials.

Eur Heart J Qual Care Clin Outcomes 2019 10;5(4):321-333

National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, Hammersmith Hospital, Du Cane Road, London, UK.

Aims: Right ventricular pacing for left ventricular outflow tract gradient reduction in hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy remains controversial. We undertook a meta-analysis for echocardiographic and functional outcomes.

Methods And Results: Thirty-four studies comprising 1135 patients met eligibility criteria. In the four blinded randomized controlled trials (RCTs), pacing reduced gradient by 35% [95% confidence interval (CI) 23.2-46.9, P < 0.0001], but there was only a trend towards improved New York Heart Association (NYHA) class [odds ratio (OR) 1.82, CI 0.96-3.44; P = 0.066]. The unblinded observational studies reported a 54.3% (CI 44.1-64.6, P < 0.0001) reduction in gradient, which was a 18.6% greater reduction than the RCTs (P = 0.0351 for difference between study designs). Observational studies reported an effect on unblinded NYHA class at an OR of 8.39 (CI 4.39-16.04, P < 0.0001), 450% larger than the OR in RCTs (P = 0.0042 for difference between study designs). Across all studies, the gradient progressively decreased at longer follow durations, by 5.2% per month (CI 2.5-7.9, P = 0.0001).

Conclusion: Right ventricular pacing reduces gradient in blinded RCTs. There is a non-significant trend to reduction in NYHA class. The bias in assessment of NYHA class in observational studies appears to be more than twice as large as any genuine treatment effect.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ehjqcco/qcz006DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6775860PMC
October 2019

His Resynchronization Versus Biventricular Pacing in Patients With Heart Failure and Left Bundle Branch Block.

J Am Coll Cardiol 2018 12;72(24):3112-3122

National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom.

Background: His bundle pacing is a new method for delivering cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT).

Objectives: The authors performed a head-to-head, high-precision, acute crossover comparison between His bundle pacing and conventional biventricular CRT, measuring effects on ventricular activation and acute hemodynamic function.

Methods: Patients with heart failure and left bundle branch block referred for conventional biventricular CRT were recruited. Using noninvasive epicardial electrocardiographic imaging, the authors identified patients in whom His bundle pacing shortened left ventricular activation time. In these patients, the authors compared the hemodynamic effects of His bundle pacing against biventricular pacing using a high-multiple repeated alternation protocol to minimize the effect of noise, as well as comparing effects on ventricular activation.

Results: In 18 of 23 patients, left ventricular activation time was significantly shortened by His bundle pacing. Seventeen patients had a complete electromechanical dataset. In them, His bundle pacing was more effective at delivering ventricular resynchronization than biventricular pacing: greater reduction in QRS duration (-18.6 ms; 95% confidence interval [CI]: -31.6 to -5.7 ms; p = 0.007), left ventricular activation time (-26 ms; 95% CI: -41 to -21 ms; p = 0.002), and left ventricular dyssynchrony index (-11.2 ms; 95% CI: -16.8 to -5.6 ms; p < 0.001). His bundle pacing also produced a greater acute hemodynamic response (4.6 mm Hg; 95% CI: 0.2 to 9.1 mm Hg; p = 0.04). The incremental activation time reduction with His bundle pacing over biventricular pacing correlated with the incremental hemodynamic improvement with His bundle pacing over biventricular pacing (R = 0.70; p = 0.04).

Conclusions: His resynchronization delivers better ventricular resynchronization, and greater improvement in hemodynamic parameters, than biventricular pacing.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jacc.2018.09.073DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6290113PMC
December 2018

Rationale and design of the randomized multicentre His Optimized Pacing Evaluated for Heart Failure (HOPE-HF) trial.

ESC Heart Fail 2018 10 9;5(5):965-976. Epub 2018 Jul 9.

Imperial College London, London, UK.

Aims: In patients with heart failure and a pathologically prolonged PR interval, left ventricular (LV) filling can be improved by shortening atrioventricular delay using His-bundle pacing. His-bundle pacing delivers physiological ventricular activation and has been shown to improve acute haemodynamic function in this group of patients. In the HOPE-HF (His Optimized Pacing Evaluated for Heart Failure) trial, we are investigating whether these acute haemodynamic improvements translate into improvements in exercise capacity and heart failure symptoms.

Methods And Results: This multicentre, double-blind, randomized, crossover study aims to randomize 160 patients with PR prolongation (≥200 ms), LV impairment (EF ≤ 40%), and either narrow QRS (≤140 ms) or right bundle branch block. All patients receive a cardiac device with leads positioned in the right atrium and the His bundle. Eligible patients also receive a defibrillator lead. Those not eligible for implantable cardioverter defibrillator have a backup pacing lead positioned in an LV branch of the coronary sinus. Patients are allocated in random order to 6 months of (i) haemodynamically optimized dual chamber His-bundle pacing and (ii) backup pacing only, using the non-His ventricular lead. The primary endpoint is change in exercise capacity assessed by peak oxygen uptake. Secondary endpoints include change in ejection fraction, quality of life scores, B-type natriuretic peptide, daily patient activity levels, and safety and feasibility assessments of His-bundle pacing.

Conclusions: Hope-HF aims to determine whether correcting PR prolongation in patients with heart failure and narrow QRS or right bundle branch block using haemodynamically optimized dual chamber His-bundle pacing improves exercise capacity and symptoms. We aim to complete recruitment by the end of 2018 and report in 2020.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ehf2.12315DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6165934PMC
October 2018

His Bundle Pacing: A New Frontier in the Treatment of Heart Failure.

Arrhythm Electrophysiol Rev 2018 Jun;7(2):103-110

National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, UK.

Biventricular pacing has revolutionised the treatment of heart failure in patients with sinus rhythm and left bundle branch block; however, left ventricular-lead placement is not always technically possible. Furthermore, biventricular pacing does not fully normalise ventricular activation and, therefore, the ventricular resynchronisation is imperfect. Right ventricular pacing for bradycardia may cause or worsen heart failure in some patients by causing dyssynchronous ventricular activation. His bundle pacing activates the ventricles via the native His-Purkinje system, resulting in true physiological pacing, and, therefore, is a promising alternate site for pacing in bradycardia and traditional CRT indications in cases where it can overcome left bundle branch block. Furthermore, it may open up new indications for pacing therapy in heart failure, such as targeting patients with PR prolongation, but a narrow QRS duration. In this article we explore the physiology, technology and potential roles of His bundle pacing in the prevention and treatment of heart failure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.15420/aer.2018.6.2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6020230PMC
June 2018

Survival Following Tumor Recurrence in Children With Medulloblastoma.

J Pediatr Hematol Oncol 2018 04;40(3):e159-e163

Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, ON.

Medulloblastoma is the most common malignant brain tumor in children. Published survival rates for this tumor are ∼70%; however, there is limited published information on outcome after disease recurrence. This was an observational study which included all persons under the age of 18 years diagnosed with medulloblastoma from 1990 to 2009 inclusive in Canada. Data collected included date of diagnosis, age at diagnosis, sex, stage, pathology, treatment, recurrence, and current status. Survival rates were determined. In total, 550 cases were ascertained meeting the study criteria. The overall survival rate at 1 year was 83.6%±1.7%, at 3 years 77.2%±1.9%, and at 5 years 72.5%±20%. The progression-free survival rates were 78%±1.9%, 70%±2.1%, and 69±2.1% at 1, 3, and 5 years from initial diagnosis. In total, 173 (31.2%) were reported to have had tumor recurrence and 23 (11.4%) of them were alive at the time of survey with an overall survival rate at 1 year of 38.3%±4%, at 2 years of 16.9%±3.3%, and at 5 years of 12.4%±2.8%. Our data confirm that children with recurrent medulloblastoma have a poor prognosis, supporting the need for novel treatment approaches for this group.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MPH.0000000000001095DOI Listing
April 2018

Phase II Weekly Vinblastine for Chemotherapy-Naïve Children With Progressive Low-Grade Glioma: A Canadian Pediatric Brain Tumor Consortium Study.

J Clin Oncol 2016 10;34(29):3537-3543

Alvaro Lassaletta, Cynthia E. Hawkins, Rahul Krishnatry, Matthew Mistry, Anthony Arnoldo, Vijay Ramaswamy, Annie Huang, Ute Bartels, Uri Tabori, and Eric Bouffet, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto; Katrin Scheinemann, McMaster Children's Hospital; Shayna M. Zelcer, Children's Hospital of Western Ontario, London; Gregory Russell Pond, Ontario Clinical Oncology Group, McMaster University, Hamilton; Daniel Keene and Donna L. Johnston, Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, Ottawa, Ontario; Juliette Hukin and Ken Poskitt, British Columbia Children's Hospital, Vancouver, British Columbia; Beverley A. Wilson, University of Alberta Hospital; Lucie Lafay-Cousin, Alberta Children's Hospital, Calgary; David D. Eisenstat, Stollery Children's Hospital, Edmonton; Alberta; Nada Jabado, McGill University; Anne Sophie Carret, Hospital Sainte Justine, Montreal; Valerie Larouche, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Québec, Québec, Québec; and David D. Eisenstat, Cancer Care Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

Purpose Vinblastine monotherapy has shown promising activity and a low-toxicity profile in patients with pediatric low-grade glioma (PLGG) who experienced treatment failure after initial treatment with chemotherapy and/or radiation. The aim of this study was to assess the activity of vinblastine in therapy-naïve children. Patients and Methods Patients < 18 years old with unresectable and/or progressive therapy-naïve PLGG were eligible. Vinblastine was administered once per week at a dose of 6 mg/m intravenously over a period of 70 weeks. Vision, quality of life, neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) status, and BRAF mutation/fusion status were also determined and correlated with outcome. Results Fifty-four patients were enrolled onto the study, with a median age of 8 years (range, 0.7 to 17.2 years). Most patients had chiasmatic/hypothalamic tumors (55.5%), and 13 patients (24.1%) had NF1. The most common histology was pilocytic astrocytoma (46.3%). Seventeen patients were diagnosed using radiologic criteria alone. Best response to chemotherapy was centrally reviewed with a response rate (complete, partial, or minor response) of 25.9%. Disease stabilization (complete, partial, or minor response or stable disease) was achieved in 47 patients (87.0%). Visual improvement was observed in 20% of patients with optic pathway glioma. Five-year overall survival and progression-free survival (PFS) rates were 94.4% (95% CI, 88.5% to 100%) and 53.2% (95% CI, 41.3% to 68.5%), respectively, for the entire cohort. Patients with NF1 had a significantly better PFS (85.1%; 95% CI, 68.0% to 100%) when compared with patients without NF1 (42.0%; 95% CI, 29.1% to 60.7%; P = .012). Age< 3 years or > 10 years was not associated with poor outcome. Treatment was well tolerated, and quality of life was not affected during treatment. In this trial, there was no correlation between BRAF alterations and outcome. Conclusion Vinblastine administered once per week is well tolerated in children with treatment naïve PLGG. Overall survival and PFS are comparable to current therapies, with a favorable toxicity profile and a maintained quality of life.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.2016.68.1585DOI Listing
October 2016

Neonatal death: Case definition & guidelines for data collection, analysis, and presentation of immunization safety data.

Vaccine 2016 12 19;34(49):6027-6037. Epub 2016 Jul 19.

Medical Research Council: Respiratory and Meningeal Pathogens Research Unit, Johannesburg, South Africa; Department of Science and Technology, National Research Foundation, Vaccine Preventable Diseases, South Africa; Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. Electronic address:

More than 40% of all deaths in children under 5 years of age occur during the neonatal period: the first month of life. Immunization of pregnant women has proven beneficial to both mother and infant by decreasing morbidity and mortality. With an increasing number of immunization trials being conducted in pregnant women, as well as roll-out of recommended vaccines to pregnant women, there is a need to clarify details of a neonatal death. This manuscript defines levels of certainty of a neonatal death, related to the viability of the neonate, who confirmed the death, and the timing of the death during the neonatal period and in relation to immunization of the mother.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2016.03.040DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5139812PMC
December 2016

Resolving the paradox of randomised controlled trials and observational studies comparing multi-vessel angioplasty and culprit only angioplasty at the time of STEMI.

Int J Cardiol 2016 Nov 7;222:1-8. Epub 2016 Jul 7.

Imperial College London and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. Electronic address:

Background: Patients presenting with ST-elevation myocardial infarction commonly have multi-vessel coronary artery disease. After the culprit artery is treated, the optimal treatment strategy for the residual disease is not yet defined. Large observational studies suggest that treatment of residual disease should be deferred but smaller randomised controlled trials (RCTs) suggest multi-vessel primary percutaneous coronary intervention (MV-PPCI) at the time of STEMI is safe. We examine if allocation bias of high-risk patients could explain the conflicting results between observational studies and RCTs and aim to resolve the paradox between the two.

Methods: A meta-analysis of registries comparing culprit-only PPCI to MV-PPCI was performed. We then determined if high-risk patients were more likely to be allocated to MV-PPCI. A meta-regression was performed to determine if any allocation bias of high-risk patients could explain the difference in outcomes between therapies.

Results: 47,717 patients (19 studies) were eligible. MV-PPCI had higher mortality than culprit-only PPCI (OR 1.59, 95% CI 1.12 to 2.24, p=0.03). However, higher risk patients were more likely to be allocated to MV-PPCI (OR 1.45, 95% CI 1.18 to 1.78, p=0.0005). When this was accounted for, there was no difference in mortality between culprit-only PPCI and MV-PPCI (OR 0.99, 95% CI 0.69 to 1.41, p=0.94).

Discussion: Clinicians preferentially allocate higher-risk patients to MV-PPCI at the time of STEMI, resulting in observational studies reporting higher mortality with this strategy. When this is accounted for, these large observational studies in 'real world' patients support the conclusion of the smaller RCTs in the field: MV-PPCI has equivalent mortality to a culprit-only approach.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijcard.2016.06.106DOI Listing
November 2016

White matter and information processing speed following treatment with cranial-spinal radiation for pediatric brain tumor.

Neuropsychology 2016 05 11;30(4):425-38. Epub 2016 Jan 11.

Program in Neuroscience and Mental Health, The Hospital for Sick Children.

Objective: We compared the structure of specific white matter tracts and information processing speed between children treated for posterior fossa tumors with cranial-spinal radiation (n = 30), or with surgery +/- focal radiation (n = 29), and healthy children (n = 37).

Method: Probabilistic diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) tractography was used to delineate the inferior longitudinal fasciculi, optic radiation, inferior frontal occipital fasciculi, and uncinate fasciculi bilaterally. Information processing speed was measured using the coding and symbol search subtests of the Wechsler Intelligence Scales, and visual matching, pair cancellation, and rapid picture naming subtests of the Woodcock-Johnson Test of Cognitive Ability, 3rd revision. We examined group differences using repeated measures MANOVAs and path analyses were used to test the relations between treatment, white matter structure of the tracts, and information processing speed.

Results: DTI indices of the optic radiations, the inferior longitudinal fasciculi, and the inferior fronto-occipital fasciculi differed between children treated with cranial-spinal radiation and children treated with surgery +/- focal radiation, and healthy controls (p = .045). Children treated with cranial-spinal radiation also exhibited lower processing speed scores relative to healthy control subjects (p = .002). Notably, we observed that group differences in information processing speed were related to the structure of the right optic radiation (p = .002).

Conclusion: We show that cranial-spinal radiation may have a negative impact on information processing speed via insult to the right optic radiations. (PsycINFO Database Record
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/neu0000258DOI Listing
May 2016

Intravenous immune globulin-related hemolysis: comparing two different methods for case assessment.

Transfusion 2015 Jul;55 Suppl 2:S23-7

Marketed Biologics, Biotechnologies and Natural Health Products Bureau, Marketed Health Products Directorate, Health Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Background: Hemolysis is a rare adverse event associated with the use of intravenous immune globulin (IVIG). Using the Canadian experience, this article compares two methods used for case ascertainment of hemolysis after IVIG.

Study Design And Methods: This is a retrospective, descriptive analysis of case reports of hemolytic reaction after exposure to IVIG. The cases were ascertained from the Canada Vigilance database using the standardized MedDRA query for hemolytic disorders between the years 2006 and 2012 inclusively. The presence of a causal relationship was determined by using the Transfusion Transmitted Injuries Surveillance System (TTISS) algorithm. Cases were then reviewed against the standardized case definition of IVIG-associated hemolysis proposed by the IVIG Hemolysis Pharmacovigilance Group.

Results: A total of 942 adverse event reports after exposure to IVIG had been received by Canada Vigilance during the study period. A search for the adverse event of hemolytic disorder retrieved 313 reports (33%). Using a modified TTISS definition of hemolysis and the TTISS causality assessment algorithm, 226 cases were found to be at least possibly related to administration of IVIG, whereas 69 cases met the definition of the IVIG Hemolysis Pharmacovigilance Group. The amount of IVIG distributed increased over the study period; this trend was not reflected in the number of adverse reaction reports for "hemolytic disorder" received.

Conclusion: The number of case reports per year received for the adverse event "hemolytic disorder" after exposure to IVIG fluctuated. The number of confirmed case reports varied depending on the case definition being used.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/trf.13096DOI Listing
July 2015

Survival of children with medulloblastoma in Canada diagnosed between 1990 and 2009 inclusive.

J Neurooncol 2015 Sep 30;124(2):247-53. Epub 2015 May 30.

Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, ON, Canada.

The treatment of medulloblastoma, the most common malignant brain tumor in children, has evolved over the last few decades. The objectives of this paper were to determine the survival of pediatric medulloblastoma in Canada, to determine if there has been an improvement in the survival rates between the years of 1990 and 2009, inclusive, and to determine prognostic factors for survival. All patients under the age of 18 years diagnosed with medulloblastoma from 1990 to 2009, inclusive, in Canada were included. Data collected included date of diagnosis, age at diagnosis, gender, stage, pathology, treatment, recurrence and current status. From these, survival rates were determined. Data were obtained on 628 eligible patients. The overall 5-year survival rate for the study time period was 69.2 ± 3.3 %. The survival rate increased during the interval of 1996-2000, then remained stable; 1990-1994: 60.2 ± 4.3 %; 1995-1999: 73.2 ± 3.5 %; 2000-2004: 68.8 ± 3.7 %; and 2005-2009: 72.1 ± 4.9 %, p = 0.05. Children over 14 years of age had a significantly better overall survival than those age 5-14 and those under 5 (85.7 ± 5.5 % vs 76.1 ± 2.7 % and 60.8 ± 3 % respectively, p = 0.001). Histologic medulloblastoma subtype and M stage of disease did not result in significant differences in survival. Despite changes in approaches to therapy, we demonstrate a steady survival rate for children with medulloblastoma after 1996. In our analyses, age over 14 years was associated with a higher survival rate.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11060-015-1831-0DOI Listing
September 2015

Low grade astrocytoma in children under the age of three years: a report from the Canadian pediatric brain tumour consortium.

J Neurooncol 2015 Aug 13;124(1):95-100. Epub 2015 May 13.

Division of Oncology, Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, 401 Smyth Road, Ottawa, ON, K1H 8L1, Canada,

In children under the age of 3 years, the most common solid tumors are brain tumors. Low grade astrocytomas represent 30-40 % of brain tumours in this age group. This study reviewed the incidence, characteristics, therapy, and outcome of children less than 36 months of age diagnosed with a low grade astrocytoma from 1990 to 2005 in Canada. A data bank was established using data collected from Canadian pediatric oncology centers on children less than age 3 diagnosed with brain tumors between 1990 and 2005. Cases of low grade astrocytoma were extracted from this data bank and their characteristics summarized. From the 579 cases in the data bank, 153 cases of low grade astrocytoma (26 %) were identified. The mean duration of symptoms prior to presentation was 13 weeks, and 53 % of patients underwent a greater than 90 % resection of their tumor, while 30 % underwent 10-90 % resection. Seventy-one percent of patients received no further therapy after surgery and of the 45 who received therapy following surgery, 43 received chemotherapy, and 5 received radiation therapy. Sixty-eight patients had recurrence or progression of their tumor. Eighty-seven percent of patients were alive at the time of the survey with a 2 year survival rate of 95.3 ± 1.8 %, 5 year survival rate of 93.1 ± 2.1 % and 10 year survival rate of 89.1 ± 2.8 %. The 5 year survival rate for Canadian children less than 36 months of age with a low grade astrocytoma was 93.0 ± 2.8 % which is similar to that for older children with this tumor.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11060-015-1806-1DOI Listing
August 2015

White matter compromise predicts poor intellectual outcome in survivors of pediatric low-grade glioma.

Neuro Oncol 2015 Apr 13;17(4):604-13. Epub 2014 Nov 13.

Neurosciences & Mental Health, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada (F.L., N.S., F.W., D.J.M.); Division of Haematology/Oncology, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada (U.T., E.B.); Department of Paediatrics, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada (U.T., E.B.); Diagnostic Imaging, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada (S.L.); Medical Imaging, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada (S.L.); Departments of Oncology and Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada (D.S.); Independent practice, Montréal area, Québec, Canada (M.-E.B.); Department of Psychology, Division of Oncology, British Columbia Children's Hospital, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada (D.M.); Divisions of Neurology and Oncology, British Columbia Children's Hospital, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada (J.H.); Department of Pediatrics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada (J.H., C.F.); Division of Hematology and Oncology, British Columbia Children's Hospital, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada (C.F.); Division of Ambulatory Care/Oncology, Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada (I.M.-P., D.K.); Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada (D.K.); Department of Psychology, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada (D.J.M.); Department of Psychology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada (D.J.M.).

Background: While the impact of cranial radiation on white matter following treatment for pediatric brain tumor has been the focus of many recent studies, the effect of treatment in the absence of radiation has received little attention. The relations between white matter and cognitive outcome have not been explored in patients who have undergone radiation-free treatment. As most patients treated without cranial radiation survive long after their diagnosis, it is critical to identify factors that may impact structural and neurocognitive outcomes.

Methods: Using diffusion tensor imaging, we examined white matter structure in 32 patients with pediatric low-grade glioma (PLGG) (19 with subtentorial location and 13 with supratentorial location) and 32 healthy participants. Indices of intellectual functioning were also evaluated. Radiation was not used to treat this cohort, aged 8-19 years.

Results: We detected evidence of deficits in IQ and compromised supra- and subtentorial white matter in patients relative to healthy children (P < .05). Compromise of supratentorial white matter mediated the impact of treatment for PLGG on IQ. Greater white matter compromise was observed in patients who presented without multiple symptoms, were treated with biopsy/no surgery, had positive neurofibromatosis 1 status, were younger age at diagnosis, and whose parents had lower levels of education (P < .05).

Conclusions: Our findings provide evidence of increased risk of intellectual and white matter compromise in patients treated for PLGG without radiation. We identify a neural origin of cognitive deficit useful for predicting outcome and mitigating long-term adverse effects in pediatric brain tumor patients treated without cranial radiation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/neuonc/nou306DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4483078PMC
April 2015

Incidence of medulloblastoma in Canadian children.

J Neurooncol 2014 Dec 17;120(3):575-9. Epub 2014 Aug 17.

Division of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, 401 Smyth Road, Ottawa, ON, K1H 8L1, Canada,

Medulloblastoma is the most common malignant brain tumor in children. There was a perception of pediatric neuro-oncologists that the incidence had declined in Canada. An epidemiological survey was undertaken to determine the incidence of this tumor in Canada and if a change had indeed occurred. All patients 14 years and under diagnosed with medulloblastoma from 1990 to 2009 inclusive in Canada were included. Data collected included date of diagnosis, age at diagnosis, gender, stage, pathology, treatment, recurrence and current status. Data were analysed for change in incidence over time. Data were obtained on 574 eligible patients. The mean overall incidence per 1,000,000 persons was 4.82 (95 % CI 4.28-5.35) for the study time period. The mean age at diagnosis was 5.8 years, and there was a male predominance. Although there was an increase in incidence over the first three time periods (24 % for 1990-1994, 27.5 % for 1995-1999, 27.7 % for 2000-2004), the most recent time period (2005-2009) showed a decrease (21 %). This was true for male children while the incidence was stable for females. The mean incidence rate was double for children under the age of 5 years (7.92 per million) compared to those over 5 years (3.64 per million).This study showed that from 1990 to 2009 the incidence of medulloblastoma was relatively stable, with a slight decrease in the last five-year time period.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11060-014-1588-xDOI Listing
December 2014

Effect on cardiovascular risk of high density lipoprotein targeted drug treatments niacin, fibrates, and CETP inhibitors: meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials including 117,411 patients.

BMJ 2014 Jul 18;349:g4379. Epub 2014 Jul 18.

International Centre for Circulatory Health, National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, London W2 1LA, UK.

Objective: To investigate the effects on cardiovascular outcomes of drug interventions that increase high density lipoprotein levels.

Design: Meta-analysis.

Studies Reviewed: Therapeutic benefit of niacin, fibrates, and cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) inhibitors on cardiovascular events (all cause mortality, coronary heart disease mortality, non-fatal myocardial infarction, and stroke).

Results: 117,411 patients were randomised in a total of 39 trials. All interventions increased the levels of high density lipoprotein cholesterol. No significant effect was seen on all cause mortality for niacin (odds ratio 1.03, 95% confidence interval 0.92 to 1.15, P=0.59), fibrates (0.98, 0.89 to 1.08, P=0.66), or CETP inhibitors (1.16, 0.93 to 1.44, P=0.19); on coronary heart disease mortality for niacin (0.93, 0.76 to 1.12, P=0.44), fibrates (0.92, 0.81 to 1.04, P=0.19), or CETP inhibitors (1.00, 0.80 to 1.24, P=0.99); or on stroke outcomes for niacin (0.96, 0.75 to 1.22, P=0.72), fibrates (1.01, 0.90 to 1.13, P=0.84), or CETP inhibitors (1.14, 0.90 to 1.45, P=0.29). In studies with patients not receiving statins (before the statin era), niacin was associated with a significant reduction in non-fatal myocardial infarction (0.69, 0.56 to 0.85, P=0.0004). However, in studies where statins were already being taken, niacin showed no significant effect (0.96, 0.85 to 1.09, P=0.52). A significant difference was seen between these subgroups (P=0.007). A similar trend relating to non-fatal myocardial infarction was seen with fibrates: without statin treatment (0.78, 0.71 to 0.86, P<0.001) and with all or some patients taking statins (0.83, 0.69 to 1.01, P=0.07); P=0.58 for difference.

Conclusions: Neither niacin, fibrates, nor CETP inhibitors, three highly effective agents for increasing high density lipoprotein levels, reduced all cause mortality, coronary heart disease mortality, myocardial infarction, or stroke in patients treated with statins. Although observational studies might suggest a simplistic hypothesis for high density lipoprotein cholesterol, that increasing the levels pharmacologically would generally reduce cardiovascular events, in the current era of widespread use of statins in dyslipidaemia, substantial trials of these three agents do not support this concept.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4103514PMC
http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g4379DOI Listing
July 2014

Ependymoma in children under the age of 3 years: a report from the Canadian Pediatric Brain Tumour Consortium.

J Neurooncol 2014 Apr 16;117(2):359-64. Epub 2014 Feb 16.

Pediatric Oncology and Blood and Marrow Transplant, Alberta Children's Hospital, 2888 Shaganappi Trail NW, Calgary, AB, T3B 6A8, Canada.

The determination of optimal therapy for ependymoma (EP) in infants is ongoing. We describe the incidence, management and outcomes of Canadian infants with EP to discern potential future research questions. Of 579 cases registered in a national database of children <36 months of age diagnosed with a brain tumor from 1990 to 2005, inclusive, 75 (13 %) were EP. These cases were analyzed. A mean annual age-adjusted incidence rate of 4.6 per 100,000 children years was calculated. The male:female ratio was 1.77. Of the tumors, 80 % were infratentorial in location, 67 % were WHO grade II histology, and 29 % were metastatic at diagnosis. All patients underwent a surgical procedure. A complete resection of the tumor was achieved in 56 % of the cases; 43 % of these patients survive while 36 % of the patients with tumors less than completely resected survive. Initial therapy consisted of surgery alone in 23 % of patients, or surgery plus chemotherapy (37 %), radiation therapy (RT; 19 %), or both (21 %). Any use of RT increased with patient age. The 5-year EFS rates for patients in each of the four treatment groups was 22, 11.5, 46.2 and 64.8 %, respectively. For all patients the median survival was 63 ± 6 months and 5-year overall survival was 55 ± 6 %. Patients treated with surgery and chemotherapy alone were younger and had a lower rate of survival than older patients who were more often treated with radiation therapy containing regimens. Further study is needed to determine which patients are optimally served with these treatment modalities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11060-014-1396-3DOI Listing
April 2014

An intracardiac mass causing shortness of breath.

BMJ 2014 Jan 2;348:f7594. Epub 2014 Jan 2.

Watford General Hospital, Watford WD18 OHB, UK.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f7594DOI Listing
January 2014