Publications by authors named "George A Comitis"

3 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Rationale and design of the African Cardiomyopathy and Myocarditis Registry Program: The IMHOTEP study.

Int J Cardiol 2021 Feb 16. Epub 2021 Feb 16.

The Cardiac Clinic and Hatter Institute of Cardiovascular Research in Africa, Department of Medicine, University of Cape Town (UCT) and Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa. Electronic address:

Background: Heart failure (HF), the dominant form of cardiovascular disease in Africans, is mainly due to hypertension, rheumatic heart disease and cardiomyopathy. Cardiomyopathies pose a great challenge because of poor prognosis and high prevalence in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Little is known about the etiology and outcome of cardiomyopathy in Africa. Specifically, the role of myocarditis and the genetic causes of cardiomyopathy are largely unidentified in Africans.

Method: The African Cardiomyopathy and Myocarditis Registry Program (the IMHOTEP study) is a pan-African multi-centre, hospital-based cohort study, designed with the primary aim of describing the clinical characteristics, genetic causes, prevalence, management and outcome of cardiomyopathy and myocarditis in children and adults. The secondary aim is to identify barriers to the implementation of evidence-based care and provide a platform for trials and other intervention studies to reduce morbidity and mortality in cardiomyopathy. The registry consists of a prospective cohort of newly diagnosed (i.e., incident) cases and a retrospective (i.e., prevalent) cohort of existing cases from participating centres. Patients with cardiomyopathy and myocarditis will be subjected to a standardized 3-stage diagnostic process. To date, 750 patients have been recruited into the multi-centre pilot phase of the study.

Conclusion: The IMHOTEP study will provide comprehensive and novel data on clinical features, genetic causes, prevalence and outcome of African children and adults with all forms of cardiomyopathy and myocarditis in Africa. Based on these findings, appropriate strategies for management and prevention of the cardiomyopathies in LMICs are likely to emerge.
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February 2021

Infective endocarditis in infants and children in the Western Cape, South Africa: a retrospective analysis.

Cardiol Young 2019 Oct 2;29(10):1282-1286. Epub 2019 Sep 2.

Paediatric Cardiology Unit, Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa.

Infective endocarditis is a microbial infection of the endothelial surface of the heart, predominantly the heart valves, that is associated with high mortality and morbidity. Few contemporary data exist regarding affected children in our context.

Aims And Objectives: We aimed to describe the profile and treatment outcomes of infant and childhood endocarditis at our facilities.

Methods: This is a retrospective analysis of infants and children with endocarditis at two public sector hospitals in the Western Cape Province of South Africa over a 5-year period. Patients with "definite" and "possible" endocarditis according to Modified Duke Criteria were included in the review.

Results: Forty-nine patients were identified for inclusion; 29 had congenital heart disease as a predisposing condition; 64% of patients met "definite" and 36% "possible" criteria. The in-hospital mortality rate was 20%; 53% of patients underwent surgery with a post-operative mortality rate of 7.7%. The median interval from diagnosis to surgery was 20 days (interquartile range, 9-47 days). Valve replacement occurred in 28% and valve repair in 58%. There was a significant reduction in valvular dysfunction in patients undergoing surgery and only a marginal improvement in patients treated medically. Overall, 43% of patients had some degree of residual valvular dysfunction.

Conclusion: Endocarditis is a serious disease with a high in-hospital mortality and presents challenges in making an accurate diagnosis. Despite a significant reduction in valvular dysfunction, a portion of patients had residual valvular dysfunction. Early surgery is associated with a lower mortality rate, but a higher rate of valve replacement compared with delayed surgery.
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October 2019

Early postoperative outcomes following surgical repair of complete atrioventricular septal defects: is down syndrome a risk factor?

Pediatr Crit Care Med 2014 Jan;15(1):35-41

All authors: Department of Pediatrics, Royal Brompton Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London, United Kingdom.

Objective: To evaluate the impact of Down syndrome on the early postoperative outcomes of children undergoing complete atrioventricular septal defect repair.

Design: Retrospective cohort study.

Setting: Single tertiary pediatric cardiac center.

Patients: All children admitted to PICU following biventricular surgical repair of complete atrioventricular septal defect from January 2004 to December 2009.

Interventions: None.

Measurements And Main Results: A total of 107 children, 67 with Down syndrome, were included. Children with Down syndrome were operated earlier: 4 months (interquartile range, 3.5-6.6) versus 5.7 months (3-8.4) for Down syndrome and non-Down syndrome groups, respectively (p < 0.01). There was no early postoperative mortality. There was no significant difference in the prevalence of dysplastic atrioventricular valve between the two groups. Two children (2.9%) from Down syndrome and three children (7.5%) from non-Down syndrome group required early reoperation (p = 0.3). Junctional ectopic tachycardia was the most common arrhythmia, and the prevalence of junctional ectopic tachycardia was similar between the two groups (9% and 10% in Down syndrome and non-Down syndrome, respectively, p = 1). One patient from each group required insertion of permanent pacemaker for complete heart block. Children with Down syndrome had significantly higher prevalence of noncardiac complications, that is, pneumothorax, pleural effusions, and infections (p < 0.01), than children without Down syndrome. There was a trend for longer duration of mechanical ventilation in children with Down syndrome (41 hr [20-61 hr] vs 27.5 hr [15-62 hr], p = 0.2). However, there was no difference in duration of PICU stay between the two groups (2 d [1.3-3 d] vs 2 d [1-3 d], p = 0.9, respectively).

Conclusions: In our study, we found no difference in the prevalence of atrioventricular valve dysplasia between children with and without Down syndrome undergoing complete atrioventricular septal defect repair. This finding contrasts with previously published data, and further confirmatory studies are required. Although clinical outcomes were similar, children with Down syndrome had a significantly higher prevalence of noncardiac complications in the early postoperative period than children without Down syndrome.
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January 2014