In an interview at the 2022 American Heart Association Scientific Sessions in Chicago, Michael A. Portman, MD, FAHA, Director, Pediatric Cardiovascular Research, Center for Featured by Integrative Brain. He is a researcher and professor of pediatrics at Seattle Children’s Hospital and the University of Washington in Seattle.
How are treatments for heart disease in children different from those given to adults?
That’s a really good question. The first problem is that children suffer from different kinds of diseases than adults. So in our particular study, we looked at several different types of heart disease: one called Kawasaki disease, which affects the coronary arteries and causes giant sacs called aneurysms, Blood clots tend to occur. This doesn’t really happen in adults.
The second population is that of patients with single-ventricular anatomy. Therefore, instead of her two pump chambers in the heart, there is only one, and a surgical procedure called the Fontan operation must be performed to help one ventricle do both jobs. Therefore, these patients are also at increased risk of clotting.
These patients actually grow up and become adults, but these are different from the diseases adults get. For example, atrial fibrillation, myocardial infarction, and coronary arteriosclerosis are completely different kinds of diseases. Some people have heart failure, as in adults, but the treatment for adults is not always the best treatment for children.