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REVIEWS  PEDIATRIC HEART FAILURE 

Minerva Cardioangiologica 2008 June;56(3):311-19

Copyright © 2008 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Pediatric heart failure

Picchio F. M., Formigari R., Balducci A.

Cardiovascular Department Pediatric Cardiology and Adult Congenital Unit University of Bologna S. Orsola-Malpighi HospitalBologna, Italy


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Heart failure is a clinical syndrome which presents similarities and differences between children and adults; in pediatric age the spectrum of causes of heart failure is wide and congenital heart defects are the most common etiology. Volume and pressure overload on a “normal myocardium” is the classical physiological pattern while myocardial contractile dysfunction of different etiology is much less observed in the pediatric population. However there are some peculiarities in clinical presentation of heart failure in infants and small children. The medical therapy cornerstones still remain loop diuretics, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, beta-blockers and digitalis. There are also some reported experiences with new inotropics drugs in acute heart failure. In pediatric cardiology there are few prospective studies on pharmacology of heart failure and the data are often extrapolated from adult large trials. Non pharmacological treatment with autonomic implantable cardioverter defibrillators and resynchronization therapy as well as the surgically implant of ventricular assist devices are increasingly employed in children. Cardiac transplantation is currently the treatment option with good outcome and long-term survival in pediatric patients with end-stage or refractory heart failure.

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