The latest medical research on Pediatrics

The research magnet gathers the latest research from around the web, based on your specialty area. Below you will find a sample of some of the most recent articles from reputable medical journals about pediatrics gathered by our medical AI research bot.

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Acute Brain Injury in Infant Venoarterial Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation: An Autopsy Study.

Pediatric Critical Care Medicine

Characterization of the types and timing of acute brain injury in infant autopsy patients after extracorporeal membrane oxygenation.

Infants supported on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation.

Clinical and pathologic records were reviewed for infant extracorporeal membrane oxygenation patients who had undergone brain autopsy in a single center between January 2009 and December 2018. Twenty-four patients supported on venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation had postmortem examination with brain autopsy. Median age at extracorporeal membrane oxygenation initiation was 82 days (interquartile range, 11-263 d), median age at time of death was 20 weeks (interquartile range, 5-44 wk), and median extracorporeal membrane oxygenation support duration was 108 hours (interquartile range, 35-366 hr). The most common acute brain injury found at autopsy was hypoxic-ischemic brain injury (58%) followed by intracranial hemorrhage (29%). The most common types of intracranial hemorrhage were intracerebral (17%), subarachnoid (17%), and subdural (8%). Only five infants (21%) did not have acute brain injury. Correlates of acute brain injury included low preextracorporeal membrane oxygenation oxygen saturation as well as elevated liver enzymes, total bilirubin, and lactate on days 1 and 3 of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. Gestational age, Apgar scores, birth weight, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation duration, anticoagulation therapy, and renal and hepatic impairments were not associated with acute brain injury.

Acute brain injury was observed in 79% of autopsies conducted in infants supported on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. Hypoxic-ischemic brain injury was the most common type of brain injury (58%), and further associations with preextracorporeal membrane oxygenation acute brain injury require additional exploration.

Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy Enhances Interstage Growth in Infants With Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome.

Pediatric Critical Care Medicine

Infants with hypoplastic left heart syndrome undergoing staged palliation commonly experience chronic growth failure and malnutrition. Greater patient weight at stage 2 palliation (Glenn) is thought to be associated with improved perioperative outcomes. We aimed to compare weight for age z score and interstage growth velocity in children with and without a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy prior to Glenn and hypothesize that those with a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy experience-enhanced interstage growth and reduced malnutrition rates.


Primary outcomes were weight for age z score (at birth, Norwood, Norwood discharge, and Glenn), interstage growth velocity, and moderate-to-severe malnutrition (weight for age z score<-2) rates. Secondary outcomes were lengths of stay, mechanical ventilation rates after Glenn, and mortality. Statistical analyses included chi-square, Wilcoxon rank-sum, student's t, paired testing, and exploratory logistic regression. Of the 69 infants studied, 47 (68%) had percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy insertion at a median of 156 (interquartile range, 115-158) days prior to Glenn. Among children with and without percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy, we observed no differences in demographics, comorbidities, cardiothoracic surgical times, postoperative Glenn outcomes (length of stay, mechanical ventilation rate, peak 24-hr lactate, nitric oxide use, extracorporeal life support rate, or mortality), weight for age z score at birth, and weight for age z score at Norwood. At the time of percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy insertion, weight for age z score was -2.5 ± 1.3 and subsequent growth velocity increased from 8 ± 7 to 40 ± 59 g/d (p < 0.01). From Norwood discharge to the date of Glenn, weight for age z score increased in infants with percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (-2.5 ± 1.1 to -1.5 ± 1.4 [p < 0.01]) with a large reduction in moderate-to-severe malnutrition rates (76-36%; p < 0.01). In general, weight for age z score at the time of Glenn was associated with reduced postoperative mortality (odds ratio, 0.3; 95% CI, 0.09-0.95; p = 0.04).

Infants undergoing palliation for hypoplastic left heart syndrome with percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy insertion prior to Glenn had improved growth velocity and dramatically reduced rates of moderate-to-severe malnutrition rates (40% reduction). In addition, we noted weight for age z score at when Glenn was associated with improved postoperative Glenn survival. No complications from percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy were noted. Placement of a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy improved weight for age z score, enhanced interstage growth, and reduced malnutrition rates for this at-risk population of malnourished children.

Regulating Critical Care Ultrasound, It Is All in the Interpretation.

Pediatric Critical Care Medicine

Point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) use is rapidly expanding as a practice in adult and pediatric critical care environments. In January 2020, the Joi...

Development and Validation of a Model to Predict Pediatric Septic Shock Using Data Known 2 Hours After Hospital Arrival.

Pediatric Critical Care Medicine

To use electronic health record data from the first 2 hours of care to derive and validate a model to predict hypotensive septic shock in children with infection.

Lasso with 10-fold cross-validation was used for variable selection; logistic regression was then used to construct a model from those variables in the training set. Variables were derived from electronic health record data known in the first 2 hours, including vital signs, medical history, demographics, and laboratory information. Test characteristics at two thresholds were evaluated: 1) optimizing sensitivity and specificity and 2) set to 90% sensitivity.

Septic shock was defined as systolic hypotension and vasoactive use or greater than or equal to 30 mL/kg isotonic crystalloid administration in the first 24 hours. A model was created using 20 predictors, with an area under the receiver operating curve in the training set of 0.85 (0.82-0.88); 0.83 (0.78-0.89) in the temporal test set and 0.83 (0.60-1.00) in the geographic test set. Sensitivity and specificity varied based on cutpoint; when sensitivity in the training set was set to 90% (83-94%), specificity was 62% (60-65%).

This model predicted risk of septic shock in children with suspected infection 2 hours after arrival, a critical timepoint for emergent treatment and transfer decisions. Varied cutpoints could be used to customize sensitivity to clinical context.

Prevalence of ICU Delirium in Postoperative Pediatric Cardiac Surgery Patients.

Pediatric Critical Care Medicine

The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of ICU delirium in children less than 18 years old that underwent cardiac surgery within the last 30 days. The secondary aim of the study was to identify risk factors associated with ICU delirium in postoperative pediatric cardiac surgical patients.

Eligible children were screened for delirium using the Cornell Assessment of Pediatric Delirium by the study team in collaboration with the bedside nurse.

Overall, 181 patients were enrolled and 40% (n = 73) screened positive for delirium. There were no statistically significant differences in patient demographic information, severity of defect or surgical procedure, past medical history, or postoperative day between patients screening positive or negative for delirium. Our bivariate analysis found those patients screening positive had a longer duration of mechanical ventilation (12.8 vs 5.1 d; p = 0.02); required more vasoactive support (55% vs 26%; p = 0.0009); and had a higher number of invasive catheters (4 vs 3 catheters; p = 0.001). Delirium-positive patients received more total opioid exposure (1.80 vs 0.36 mg/kg/d of morphine equivalents; p < 0.001), did not have an ambulation or physical therapy schedule (p = 0.02), had not been out of bed in the previous 24 hours (p < 0.0002), and parents were not at the bedside at time of data collection (p = 0.008). In the mixed-effects logistic regression analysis of modifiable risk factors, the following variables were associated with a positive delirium screen: 1) pain score, per point increase (odds ratio, 1.3; 1.06-1.60); 2) total opioid exposure, per mg/kg/d increase (odds ratio, 1.35; 1.06-1.73); 3) SBS less than 0 (odds ratio, 4.01; 1.21-13.27); 4) pain medication or sedative administered in the previous 4 hours (odds ratio, 3.49; 1.32-9.28); 5) no progressive physical therapy or ambulation schedule in their medical record (odds ratio, 4.40; 1.41-13.68); and 6) parents not at bedside at time of data collection (odds ratio, 2.31; 1.01-5.31).

We found delirium to be a common problem after cardiac surgery with several important modifiable risk factors.

Creating a "Culture of Triage: " A Dual-Perspective Study of Interruptions During ICU Rounds.

Pediatric Critical Care Medicine

To explore interrupters' and interruptees' experiences of interruptions occurring during morning rounds in a PICU in an attempt to understand better how to limit interruptions that threaten patient safety.

Data collection occurred in two parts: 1) field observations during morning rounds with brief field interviews conducted with participants involved in an observed interruption and 2) in-depth interviews conducted with selected participants from prior field observations.

Attending physicians, fellow physicians, frontline clinicians (resident physicians and nurse practitioners), and nurses working in the PICU.

Data were coded using a constant comparative method with thematic analysis, clustering codes into groups, and subsequently into themes. We observed 11 rounding encounters (17 hr of observation and 48 patient encounters), conducting 25 field interviews and eight in-depth interviews. Themes included culture of interruption triage, interruption triage criteria, and barriers to interruption triage. Interruptees desired forming a culture of triage, whereby less-urgent interruptions were deferred until later or addressed through an asynchronous method; this desire was misaligned with interrupters who described ongoing interruption triage based on clinical changes, time-sensitivity, and interrupter comfort, despite not having a formal triage algorithm. Barriers to interruption triage included a lack of situational awareness and experience among interrupters and interruptees.

Interrupters and interruptees did not have a shared understanding of the culture of triage within the PICU. Although interrupters attempted to triage interruptions, no formal triage algorithm existed and interruptees did not perceive a triaging culture. Using data from this study, we created a triage algorithm that could inform future studies, potentially decrease unnecessary interruptions, and optimize information sharing for essential interruptions.

Outcome of Early Hemostatic Intervention in Children With Sepsis and Nonovert Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation Admitted to PICU: A Randomized Controlled Trial.

Pediatric Critical Care Medicine

Critically ill children with sepsis may develop catastrophic thrombotic and hemorrhagic syndrome of disseminated intravascular coagulopathy as a final common pathway.

Evaluation of the outcome of early hemostatic management of disseminated intravascular coagulopathy in patients with severe sepsis/septic shock admitted to PICU, before the development of clinically overt disseminated intravascular coagulopathy.

All patients had assessment of Pediatric Index of Mortality 2 score, Pediatric Logistic Organ Dysfunction score, inotropic score, routine laboratory, and hemostatic tests including fibrin degradation products and D-dimers. Disseminated intravascular coagulopathy risk assessment scores were calculated on daily basis.

Mortality rate was significantly higher in group 2. Progression to overt disseminated intravascular coagulopathy was significantly more common among group 2 patients than group 1 (45% and 10%, respectively) (p < 0.0001). Disseminated intravascular coagulopathyRisk Assessment Scores were significantly higher on the second and fifth days among group 2 patients. The initial specific hemostatic intervention was the only significant predictor of survival and prevention of progression to overt disseminated intravascular coagulopathy.

Our results suggest that early use of a combination of fresh frozen plasma transfusion, low-dose heparin, and tranexamic acid in children with severe sepsis/septic shock in the "window of opportunity" before the development of overt disseminated intravascular coagulopathy stage was associated with better outcome for survival and prevention of progression to overt disseminated intravascular coagulopathy, with no increase in bleeding risk. Larger multicenter studies are needed to further prove this practice.

Serum Amylase and Lipase for the Prediction of Pancreatic Injury in Critically Ill Children Admitted to the PICU.

Pediatric Critical Care Medicine

Pancreatic injury is multifactorial and potentially devastating for critically ill children. We aimed to evaluate whether serum amylase and lipase among critically ill children could serve as an independent biomarker to predict pancreatic injury.


A group of 79 children who died of different causes were investigated by autopsy. They were divided into pancreatic injury group and pancreatic noninjury group according to autopsy findings. Data based on patients' demographics, vital signs, laboratory findings, and clinical features at admission were collected and compared. Logistic regression was used to identify predictive factors for pancreatic injury. Receiver operating characteristic curve was constructed for assessing serum amylase and serum lipase to predicting pancreatic injury. Forty-one patients (51.9%) exhibited the pathologic changes of pancreatic injury. The levels of lactate, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, alanine transaminase, aspartate transaminase, and troponin-I in the injury group were significantly higher than that in the noninjury group, whereas the level of calcium was significantly lower than that in the noninjury group (p < 0.05). Multivariable logistic regression analysis showed that serum amylase, serum lipase, and septic shock were significantly associated with the occurrence rate of pancreatic injury. The statistically significant area under the curve results were as follows: serum amylase: area under the curve = 0.731, at a cutoff value of 97.5, sensitivity = 53.7, and specificity = 81.6; and serum lipase: area under the curve = 0.727, at a cutoff value of 61.1, sensitivity = 36.6, and specificity = 92.1.

Serum amylase and lipase could serve as independent biomarkers to predict pancreatic injury in critically ill children.

Candidemia Diagnosis With T2 Nuclear Magnetic Resonance in a PICU: A New Approach.

Pediatric Critical Care Medicine

Early diagnosis of invasive Candida infections is a challenge for pediatricians, intensivists, and microbiologists. To fill this gap, a new nanodiagnostic method has been developed using manual application of T2 nuclear magnetic resonance to detect Candida species. The aim of this study was to evaluate, prospectively, the usefulness as a tool diagnosis of the T2Candida panel in pediatric patients admitted at the PICU compared with blood culture.

Sixty-three patients from 0 to 17 years old were enrolled in this study, including those undergoing solid organ transplantation (kidney, liver, pulmonary, multivisceral, intestinal, and heart) and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

Seven patients were positive by the T2Candida test. Only two of them had the simultaneous positive blood culture. T2Candida yielded more positive results than blood cultures.

T2Candida might be useful for the diagnosis of candidemia in PICUs. The prevalence of candidemia might be underestimated in this pediatric population. The use of this diagnostic tool in these units may help clinicians to start adequate and timely antifungal treatments.

Therapeutic Alliance Between Bereaved Parents and Physicians in the PICU.

Pediatric Critical Care Medicine

Therapeutic alliance is the collaborative bond that develops between patients/families and healthcare providers. Our objective is to determine the extent of therapeutic alliance bereaved parents perceive to have occurred with their child's physicians during their child's PICU stay, and associated factors.

Bereaved parents completed the Human Connection Scale, a 16-item measure of therapeutic alliance, 6 months after their child's death. Human Connection Scale scores range from 16 to 64 with higher scores indicating greater alliance. Parents provided sociodemographic data, and medical records were reviewed for the child's clinical characteristics.

Two-hundred and thirty-three parents of 157 deceased children responded to the Human Connection Scale with greater than or equal to 80% item completion. Among parents, 146 (62.7%) were female, 155 (66.5%) were White and 46 (19.7%) were Black, 175 (75.1%) were married, and 209 (89.7%) had at least a high-school education. Among children, median age at the time of death was 5.9 years (interquartile range, 0.64-13.9 yr) and 114 (72.6%) died after limitation or withdrawal of life support. Mean Human Connection Scale score was 51.4 ± 11.1 for all parents, 52.6 ± 9.0 for White parents, and 47.0 ± 13.7 for Black parents. In multivariable modeling predicting Human Connection Scale scores, race was the only parent or child characteristic in the final model. Human Connection Scale scores were significantly different (-4.56; 95% CI, -8.53 to -0.6; p = 0.025) between the Black and White parents with items about trust, care, and honest communication showing the greatest mean difference.

Among parents bereaved in the PICU, therapeutic alliance with physicians is moderately high. Future research should identify strategies to strengthen therapeutic alliance with Black parents and examine the role of alliance on bereaved parents' health outcomes.

Cardiac Function and Ventricular Interactions in Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn.

Pediatric Critical Care Medicine

The aim of this study was to use a comprehensive imaging protocol to identify echocardiographic correlations of right and left ventricular size, function, and hemodynamics in neonates with persistent pulmonary hypertension of newborn and describe their relationship with key clinical variables.


The echocardiographic measurements comprised of right ventricular and left ventricular functional markers, including tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion, fractional area change, tissue Doppler imaging, and deformation imaging. Sample size was based on detecting an intergroup difference of 10% in tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion, which was considered the primary outcome. Linear correlations between the right and left ventricular indices, as well as their association with the outcome of death or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation were evaluated. Persistent pulmonary hypertension of newborn was associated with lower tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion (6.81 ± 1.92 vs 9.25 ± 1.30 mm), right-ventricular global longitudinal strain (16.9% ± 5.4% vs -21.6% ± 4.6%); left ventricular ejection fraction (49% ± 7% vs 55% ± 6%), left ventricular global longitudinal strain (-16.7% ± 3.3% vs -21.4% ± 2.0%) (all p < 0.01). Right and left ventricular diastolic and global function was also lower in persistent pulmonary hypertension of newborn, with more pronounced changes seen for the right ventricle. Moderate-to-strong linear correlations were observed between the right and left ventricular functional markers, with right ventricular global longitudinal strain and left ventricular global longitudinal strain being the strongest (r = 0.8). Within persistent pulmonary hypertension of newborn group, hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy was associated with lower right and left ventricular systolic and right ventricular diastolic performance. Tricuspid annular plane systolic excursion (p =0.08) and left ventricular systolic velocity (p = 0.09) tended to be lower in patients who subsequently died/needed extracorporeal membrane oxygenation.

Persistent pulmonary hypertension of newborn is characterized by global cardiac dysfunction, involving both the right and left ventricles, with significant interventricular functional correlation. Cardiac dysfunction early in disease course may identify patients at highest risk of adverse outcome.

Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis in a PICU of a Developing Economy: Clinical Profile, Intensive Care Needs, Outcome, and Predictors of Mortality.

Pediatric Critical Care Medicine

To describe the clinical profile, intensive care needs, outcome, and predictors of mortality in critically ill children with hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis.


Sixty-two children with hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (60 secondary and two primary) were enrolled. The median (interquartile range) age of the study group was 82 months (50.5-124 mo). The median (interquartile range) Pediatric Risk of Mortality III score was 16 (10-23). Majority of hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis was infection-associated (n = 51; 82.3%). Among these, scrub typhus accounted for 29% of cases (n = 18), dengue 17.7% (n = 11), bacterial sepsis 14.5% (n = 9), enteric fever 6.5% (n = 4), and other infections 14.5% (n = 9). Systemic-onset juvenile idiopathic arthritis accounted for 9.7% of cases (n = 6) and malignancy for 4.8% patients (n = 3). Majority of cases were treated with steroids (77.4%) and IV immunoglobulin (25.8%). Various complications noted were shock (71%), acute kidney injury (66.1%), acute respiratory distress syndrome (41.9%), disseminated intravascular coagulation (54.8%), CNS dysfunction (54.8%), multiple organ dysfunction syndrome (82.3%), and healthcare-associated infections (14.5%). Intensive care needs for primary illness and/or hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis included mechanical ventilation (74.2%); packed RBC (72.3%), fresh frozen plasma (40.3%), and platelet (48.4%) transfusion; vasoactive drugs (71%); and renal replacement therapy (24.2%). The median duration of PICU stay was 5 days (2.5-9.5 d) and mortality was 59.7% (n = 37). On univariate analysis, nonsurvivors had higher Pediatric Risk of Mortality III score; higher proportion of shock, acute kidney injury, acute respiratory distress syndrome, disseminated intravascular coagulation, and multiple organ dysfunction syndrome; the need for blood and blood components, mechanical ventilation, vasoactive drugs, and renal replacement therapy; higher Vasoactive-Inotropic Score; and prolonged duration of mechanical ventilation compared with survivors.

Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis in PICU is commonly secondary to tropical infections and associated with high mortality. Higher severity of illness; shock and multiple organ dysfunction syndrome; need for blood and blood products, mechanical ventilation, vasoactive drugs, and renal replacement therapy; higher Vasoactive-Inotropic Score; and prolonged mechanical ventilation predicted death. Treatment of underlying infection and a less intense immunosuppressive therapy (steroids ± IV immunoglobulin) are suggested options. A high index of suspicion for complicating hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis is required in children with prolonged fever, cytopenias, organomegaly, and organ dysfunction not responding to conventional treatment.