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Long-term outcomes in heterotaxy syndrome (HS) are poorly described. Some reports suggest improved survival in the recent era, whereas others do not. We sought to describe long-term outcomes and assess whether outcomes have changed over time.METHODS:
Patients with HS born between 1985 and 2014 who had cardiac care (except initial palliation) at our institution were divided into 4 birth eras and survival over time was compared. Independent risk factors for mortality were identified by using Cox proportional hazards regression. In patients who underwent surgery, association between surgical pathway (univentricular versus biventricular repair) and mortality after adjusting for baseline confounders was evaluated. A risk stratification model was created by using classification and regression analysis.RESULTS:
Among 264 patients, 118 (44.7%) had asplenia and 146 (55.3%) had polysplenia syndrome. Overall mortality was 40.2% (n = 106), with median follow-up of 10.2 years (longest 31.5 years). In multivariable analysis, pulmonary vein stenosis, coarctation, univentricular circulation, asplenia phenotype, and at least mild atrioventricular valve regurgitation at presentation were associated with mortality, whereas birth era was not. Among patients who underwent surgery, univentricular repair remained associated with mortality after adjustment. In classification and regression analysis, patients with biventricular circulation (especially those with polysplenia) had lower mortality than those with univentricular circulation.CONCLUSIONS:
In this large retrospective study of HS, outcomes remain poor and have not improved since the early 1990s. We identified risks factors associated with earlier mortality and found that those with univentricular circulation and totally anomalous pulmonary venous connection had the worst prognosis. Survival was higher in those with biventricular circulation.
Currently, car seat tolerance screens (CSTSs) are recommended for all infants born prematurely in the United States. Although many late-preterm infants are cared for exclusively in newborn nurseries (NBNs), data on implementation of CSTS in nurseries are limited. Our objective for this study was to determine management strategies and potential variation in practice of CSTS in NBNs across the nation.METHODS:
We surveyed NBNs across 35 states using the Better Outcomes through Research for Newborns (BORN) network to determine what percentage perform CSTSs, inclusion and failure criteria, performance characteristics, follow-up of failed CSTSs including use of car beds, and provider attitudes toward CSTS.RESULTS:
Of the 84 NBNs surveyed, 90.5% performed predischarge CSTSs. The most common failure criteria were saturation <90%, bradycardia <80 beats per minute, and apnea >20 seconds. More than 55% noted hypotonia as an additional inclusion criterion for testing, and >34% tested any infant who had ever required supplemental oxygen. After an initial failed CSTS, >93% of NBNs retested in a car seat at a future time point, whereas only ~1% automatically discharged infants in a car bed. When asked which infants should undergo predischarge CSTS, the most common recommendations by survey respondents included infants with hypotonia (83%), airway malformations (78%), hemodynamically significant congenital heart disease (63%), and prematurity (61%).CONCLUSIONS:
There is a large degree of variability in implementation of CSTS in NBNs across the United States. Further guidance on screening practices and failure criteria is needed to inform future practice and policy.
To examine how overweight and obesity at specific ages and overall BMI growth patterns throughout childhood predict cardiometabolic phenotypes at 11 to 12 years.METHODS:
In a population-based sample of 5107 infants, BMI was measured every 2 years between ages 2 to 3 and 10 to 11 years. We identified 5 BMI trajectories using growth curve models. At ages 11 to 12 years, 1811 children completed assessments for metabolic syndrome risk scores, carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity, and carotid intima-media thickness. Multivariable regression models were used to estimate associations, adjusted for potential confounders (eg, age, sex, smoking exposure, and small for gestational age).RESULTS:
Overweight and obesity from early childhood onward were strongly associated with higher cardiometabolic risk at 11 to 12 years of age. At age 6 to 7 years, compared with those with a healthy weight, children with overweight had higher metabolic syndrome risk scores by 0.23 SD units (95% confidence interval 0.05 to 0.41) and with obesity by 0.76 SD units (0.51–1.01), with associations almost doubling by age 10 to 11 years. Obese (but not overweight) children had higher outcome pulse wave velocity (0.64–0.73 SD units) from ages 6 to 7 years and slightly higher outcome carotid intima-media thickness (0.20–0.30 SD units) at all ages. Cumulative exposure to high BMI from 2 to 3 years of age carried the greatest cardiometabolic risk, with a gradient of risk across trajectories.CONCLUSIONS:
High early-childhood BMI is already silently associated with the development of cardiometabolic risk by 11 to 12 years, highlighting the urgent need for effective action to reduce overweight and obesity in early childhood.
International patterns of antibiotic use and laboratory testing in bronchiolitis in emergency departments are unknown. Our objective is to evaluate variation in the use of antibiotics and nonindicated tests in infants with bronchiolitis in 38 emergency departments in Pediatric Emergency Research Networks in Canada, the United States, Australia and New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Ireland, and Spain and Portugal. We hypothesized there would be significant variation, adjusted for patient characteristics.METHODS:
We analyzed a retrospective cohort study of previously healthy infants aged 2 to 12 months with bronchiolitis. Variables examined included network, poor feeding, dehydration, nasal flaring, chest retractions, apnea, saturation, respiratory rate, fever, and suspected bacterial infection. Outcomes included systemic antibiotic administration and urine, blood, or viral testing or chest radiography (CXR).RESULTS:
In total, 180 of 2359 (7.6%) infants received antibiotics, ranging from 3.5% in the United Kingdom and Ireland to 11.1% in the United States. CXR (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 2.3; 95% confidence interval 1.6–3.2), apnea (aOR 2.2; 1.1–3.5), and fever (aOR 2.4; 1.7–3.4) were associated with antibiotic use, which did not vary across networks (P = .15). In total, 768 of 2359 infants (32.6%) had ≥1 nonindicated test, ranging from 12.7% in the United Kingdom and Ireland to 50% in Spain and Portugal. Compared to the United Kingdom and Ireland, the aOR (confidence interval) results for testing were Canada 5.75 (2.24–14.76), United States 4.14 (1.70–10.10), Australia and New Zealand 2.25 (0.86–5.74), and Spain and Portugal 3.96 (0.96–16.36). Testing varied across networks (P < .0001) and was associated with suspected bacterial infections (aOR 2.12; 1.30–2.39) and most respiratory distress parameters. Viral testing (591 of 768 [77%]) and CXR (507 of 768 [66%]) were obtained most frequently.CONCLUSIONS:
The rate of antibiotic use in bronchiolitis was low across networks and was associated with CXR, fever, and apnea. Nonindicated testing was common outside of the United Kingdom and Ireland and varied across networks irrespective of patient characteristics.
To compare the frequency of opioid and corticosteroid prescriptions dispensed for children with pneumonia or sinusitis visits on the basis of location of care.METHODS:
We evaluated 2016 South Carolina Medicaid claims data for 5 to 18 years olds with pneumonia or sinusitis. Visits were associated with 1 of 3 locations: the emergency department (ED), urgent care, or the ambulatory setting.RESULTS:
Inclusion criteria were met by 31 838 children. Pneumonia visits were more often linked to an opioid prescription in the ED (34 of 542 [6.3%]) than in ambulatory settings (24 of 1590 [1.5%]; P ≤ .0001) and were more frequently linked to a steroid prescription in the ED (106 of 542 [19.6%]) than in ambulatory settings (196 of 1590 [12.3%]; P ≤ .0001). Sinusitis visits were more often linked to an opioid prescription in the ED (202 of 2705 [7.5%]) than in ambulatory settings (568 of 26 866 [2.1%]; P ≤ .0001) and were more frequently linked to a steroid prescription in the ED (510 of 2705 [18.9%]) than in ambulatory settings (1922 of 26 866 [7.2%]; P ≤ .0001). In logistic regression for children with pneumonia, the ED setting was associated with increased odds of receiving an opioid (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 4.69) or steroid (aOR 1.67). Similarly, patients with sinusitis were more likely to be prescribed opioids (aOR 4.02) or steroids (aOR 3.05) in the ED than in ambulatory sites.CONCLUSIONS:
School-aged children received opioid and steroid prescriptions for pneumonia or sinusitis at a higher frequency in the ED versus the ambulatory setting.
(1) To identify a resource use inflection point (RU-IP) beyond which patients in the NICU no longer received NICU-level care, (2) to quantify variability between hospitals in patient-days beyond the RU-IP, and (3) to describe risk factors associated with reaching an RU-IP.METHODS:
We evaluated infants admitted to any of the 43 NICUs over 6 years. We determined the day that each patient’s total daily standardized cost was <10% of the mean first-day NICU room cost and remained within this range through discharge (RU-IP). We compared days beyond an RU-IP, the total standardized cost of hospital days beyond the RU-IP, and the percentage of patients by hospital beyond the RU-IP.RESULTS:
Among 80 821 neonates, 80.6% reached an RU-IP. In total, there were 234 478 days after the RU-IP, representing 24.3% of the total NICU days and $483 281 268 in costs. Variability in the proportion of patients reaching an RU-IP was 33.1% to 98.7%. Extremely preterm and very preterm neonates, patients discharged with home health care services, or patients receiving mechanical ventilation, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, or feeding support exhibited fewer days beyond the RU-IP. Conversely, receiving methadone was associated with increased days beyond the RU-IP.CONCLUSIONS:
Identification of an RU-IP may allow health care systems to identify readiness for discharge from the NICU earlier and thereby save significant NICU days and health care dollars. These data reveal the need to identify best practices in NICUs that consistently discharge infants more efficiently. Once these best practices are known, they can be disseminated to offer guidance in creating quality improvement projects to provide safer and more predictable care across hospitals for patients of all socioeconomic statuses.
Although autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can be reliably detected in the second year of life, the average age of diagnosis is 4 to 5 years. Limitations in access to timely ASD diagnostic evaluations delay enrollment in interventions known to improve developmental outcomes. As such, developing and testing streamlined methods for ASD diagnosis is a public health and research priority. In this report, we describe the Early Autism Evaluation (EAE) Hub system, a statewide initiative for ASD screening and diagnosis in the primary care setting. Development of the EAE Hub system involved geographically targeted provision of developmental screening technical assistance to primary care, community outreach, and training primary care clinicians in ASD evaluation. At the EAE Hubs, a standard clinical pathway was implemented for evaluation of children, ages 18 to 48 months, at risk for ASD. From 2012 to 2018, 2076 children were evaluated (mean age: 30 months; median evaluation wait time: 62 days), and 33% of children received a diagnosis of ASD. Our findings suggest that developing a tiered system of developmental screening and early ASD evaluation is feasible in a geographic region facing health care access problems. Through targeted delivery of education, outreach, and intensive practice-based training, large numbers of young children at risk for ASD can be identified, referred, and evaluated in the local primary care setting. The EAE Hub model has potential for dissemination to other states facing similar neurodevelopmental health care system burdens. Implementation lessons learned and key system successes, challenges, and future directions are reviewed.
Adverse housing and neighborhood conditions influence child health. The Healthy Neighborhoods Healthy Families community development initiative was established in 2008 to address housing, education, employment, and other neighborhood-level, child health–influencing factors on the south side of Columbus, Ohio, with the goal of improving child health and well-being. In this article, we discuss the path from advocacy to outcomes analysis in this initiative and assess changes in high-cost health care use by children in the target area over the first decade of implementation. Change in health care use was measured by using a difference-in-differences approach comparing emergency department visits, inpatient stays, and inpatient length of stay in the intervention neighborhood and a propensity score–matched, pooled comparator neighborhood in the same city. The baseline and follow-up periods were August 2008 to July 2010 and August 2015 to July 2017, respectively. Findings from this analysis reveal that compared to 2 pooled comparison neighborhoods, the intervention neighborhood trended, nonsignificantly, toward greater decreases in inpatient stays and emergency department visits and smaller increases in length of stays. These results suggest that our community development activities may be influencing health care use outcomes, but in the early years of the intervention relative changes are modest and are variable based on the definition of the intervention and comparator neighborhoods. Lessons learned in expanding from advocacy to analysis include the importance of building multidisciplinary teams that can apply novel approaches to analysis, moderating expectations, and retaining focus on the broader social context.
With increasing focus in the last decade on post–cardiac arrest care in pediatrics, return of spontaneous circulation, survival rates, and neurologic outcome have improved. As part of this postarrest care, both the American Heart Association and the American Academy of Neurology state it is reasonable to consider targeted temperature management in pediatric comatose patients, although this care is challenging and time sensitive, with many gaps in knowledge remaining. Many pediatric patients will still not survive or will suffer severe neurocognitive impairment despite the therapeutic arsenal provided. Adult guidelines suggest providing postarrest supportive care and limiting prognosis discussions with families until after 72 hours of therapy, but pediatric clinicians are advised to consider a multitude of factors given the lack of data. What, then, should clinicians do if family members of a patient who has been resuscitated request the withdrawal of all life support in the 24 hours immediately postarrest? In this Ethics Rounds, we present such a case and the responses of different clinicians and bioethicists.
Most US states have now legalized medical marijuana (MMJ) use, giving new hope to families dealing with chronic illness, despite only limited data showing efficacy. Access to MMJ has presented several challenges for patients and families, providers, and pediatric hospitals, including the discrepancy between state and federal law, potential patient safety issues, and drug interaction concerns. Colorado was one of the first states to legalize MMJ and has remained at the forefront in addressing these challenges. Children’s Hospital Colorado has created and evolved its MMJ inpatient use policy and has developed a unique consultative service consisting of a clinical pharmacist and social worker. This service supports patients and families and primary clinical services in situations in which MMJ is actively being used or considered by a pediatric patient. The first 50 patients seen by this consultative service are reported. Eighty percent of patients seen had an oncologic diagnosis. Symptoms to be ameliorated by active or potential MMJ use included nausea and vomiting, appetite stimulation, seizures, and pain. In 64% of patients, MMJ use was determined to be potentially unsafe, most often because of potential drug-drug interactions. In 68% of patients, a recommendation was made to either avoid MMJ use or adjust its administration schedule. As pediatric hospitals address the topic of MMJ use in their patients, development of institutional policy and clinical support services with specific expertise in MMJ is a recommended step to support patient and families and hospital team members.
That African American (AA) patients have poorer surgical outcomes compared with their white peers is established. The prevailing presumption is that these disparities operate within the context of a higher preoperative comorbidity burden among AA patients. Whether these racial differences in outcomes exist among apparently healthy children (traditionally expected to have low risk of postsurgical complications) has not been previously investigated.METHODS:
We performed a retrospective study by analyzing the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program–Pediatric database from 2012 through 2017 and identifying children who underwent inpatient operations and were assigned American Society of Anesthesiologists physical status 1 or 2. We used univariable and risk-adjusted logistic regression to estimate the odds ratios and their 95% confidence intervals (CIs) of postsurgical outcomes comparing AA to white children.RESULTS:
Among 172 549 apparently healthy children, the incidence of 30-day mortality, postoperative complications, and serious adverse events were 0.02%, 13.9%, and 5.7%, respectively. Compared with their white peers, AA children had 3.43 times the odds of dying within 30 days after surgery (odds ratio: 3.43; 95% CI: 1.73–6.79). Compared with being white, AA had 18% relative greater odds of developing postoperative complications (odds ratio: 1.18; 95% CI: 1.13–1.23) and 7% relative higher odds of developing serious adverse events (odds ratio: 1.07; 95% CI: 1.01–1.14).CONCLUSIONS:
Even among apparently healthy children, being AA is strongly associated with a higher risk of postoperative complications and mortality. Mechanisms underlying the established racial differences in postoperative outcomes may not be fully explained by the racial variation in preoperative comorbidity.
Intrauterine devices (IUDs) are increasingly being used in adolescents and nulliparous women for contraception. Levonorgestrel IUDs also have beneficial effects on bleeding and pain. Although they are recommended for menstrual suppression in adolescents with disabilities, there are limited data on their use in this population. Our objective is to describe the characteristics and experiences of levonorgestrel IUD use in nulliparous children, adolescents, and young adults with physical, intellectual, and developmental disabilities.METHODS:
A retrospective chart review was conducted for all nulliparous patients ages ≤22 with physical, intellectual, or developmental disabilities who had levonorgestrel IUDs placed between July 1, 2004, and June 30, 2014, at a tertiary-care children’s hospital. Descriptive statistical analysis and survival analysis were performed.RESULTS:
In total, 185 levonorgestrel IUDs were placed in 159 patients with disabilities. The mean age was 16.3 (3.3; range of 9–22) years. Only 4% had ever been sexually active; 96% of IUDs were inserted in the operating room. IUD continuation rate at 1 year was 95% (95% confidence interval: 93%–100%) and at 5 years was 73% (95% confidence interval: 66%–83%). The amenorrhea rate was ~60% throughout the duration of IUD use among those with available follow-up data. Side effects and complications were ≤3%.CONCLUSIONS:
In this study, we provide evidence for the therapeutic benefit and safety of levonorgestrel IUD use in adolescents and young adults with physical, intellectual, and developmental disabilities. It should be considered as a menstrual management and contraceptive option for this population.
To determine if a home oxygen therapy (HOT) management strategy that includes analysis of recorded home oximetry (RHO) data, compared with standard monthly clinic visit assessments, reduces duration of HOT without harm in premature infants.METHODS:
The RHO trial was an unmasked randomized clinical trial conducted in 9 US medical centers from November 2013 to December 2017, with follow-up to February 2019. Preterm infants with birth gestation ≤37 + 0/7 weeks, discharged on HOT, and attending their first pulmonary visit were enrolled. The intervention was an analysis of transmitted RHO between clinic visits (n = 97); the standard-care group received monthly clinic visits with in-clinic weaning attempts (n = 99). The primary outcomes were the duration of HOT and parent-reported quality of life. There were 2 prespecified secondary safety outcomes: change in weight and adverse events within 6 months of HOT discontinuation.RESULTS:
Among 196 randomly assigned infants (mean birth gestational age: 26.9 weeks; SD: 2.6 weeks; 37.8% female), 166 (84.7%) completed the trial. In the RHO group, the mean time to discontinue HOT was 78.1 days (SE: 6.4), compared with 100.1 days (SE: 8.0) in the standard-care group (P = .03). The quality-of-life scores improved from baseline to 3 months after discontinuation of HOT in both groups (P = .002), but the degree of improvement did not differ significantly between groups (P = .75).CONCLUSIONS:
RHO was effective in reducing the duration of HOT in premature infants. Parent quality of life improved after discontinuation. RHO allows physicians to determine which infants can be weaned and which need prolonged oxygen therapy between monthly visits.
Because of the impact of continuous pulse oximetry (CPOX) on the overdiagnosis of hypoxemia in bronchiolitis, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Choosing Wisely campaign have issued recommendations for intermittent monitoring. Parental preferences for monitoring may impact adoption of these recommendations, but these perspectives are poorly understood.METHODS:
Using this cross-sectional survey, we explored parental perspectives on CPOX monitoring before discharge and 1 week after bronchiolitis hospitalizations. During the 1-week call, half of the participants were randomly assigned to receive a verbal statement on the potential harms of CPOX to determine if conveying the concept of overdiagnosis can change parental preferences on monitoring frequency. An aggregate variable measuring favorable perceptions of CPOX was created to determine CPOX affinity predictors.RESULTS:
In-hospital interviews were completed on 357 patients, of which 306 (86%) completed the 1-week follow-up. Although 25% of parents agreed or strongly agreed that hospital monitors made them feel anxious, 98% agreed that the monitors were helpful. Compared to other vital signs, respiratory rate (87%) and oxygen saturation (84%) were commonly rated as "extremely important." Providing an educational statement on CPOX comparatively decreased parental desire for continuous monitoring (40% vs 20%; P < .001). Although there were no significant predictors of CPOX affinity, the effect size of the educational intervention was higher in college-educated parents.CONCLUSIONS:
Parents find security in CPOX. A brief statement on the potential harms of CPOX use had an impact on stated monitoring preferences. Parental perspectives are important to consider because they may influence the adoption of intermittent monitoring.
Preterm birth is associated with incident heart failure in children and young adults.OBJECTIVE:
To determine the effect size of preterm birth on cardiac remodeling from birth to young adulthood.DATA SOURCES:
Data sources include Medline, Embase, Scopus, Cochrane databases, and clinical trial registries (inception to March 25, 2020).STUDY SELECTION:
Studies in which cardiac phenotype was compared between preterm individuals born at <37 weeks’ gestation and age-matched term controls were included.DATA EXTRACTION:
Random-effects models were used to calculate weighted mean differences with corresponding 95% confidence intervals.RESULTS:
Thirty-two observational studies were included (preterm = 1471; term = 1665). All measures of left ventricular (LV) and right ventricular (RV) systolic function were lower in preterm neonates, including LV ejection fraction (P = .01). Preterm LV ejection fraction was similar from infancy, although LV stroke volume index was lower in young adulthood. Preterm LV peak early diastolic tissue velocity was lower throughout development, although preterm diastolic function worsened with higher estimated filling pressures from infancy. RV longitudinal strain was lower in preterm-born individuals of all ages, proportional to the degree of prematurity (R2 = 0.64; P = .002). Preterm-born individuals had persistently smaller LV internal dimensions, lower indexed LV end-diastolic volume in young adulthood, and an increase in indexed LV mass, compared with controls, of 0.71 g/m2 per year from childhood (P = .007).LIMITATIONS:
The influence of preterm-related complications on cardiac phenotype could not be fully explored.CONCLUSIONS:
Preterm-born individuals have morphologic and functional cardiac impairments across developmental stages. These changes may make the preterm heart more vulnerable to secondary insults, potentially underlying their increased risk of early heart failure.
Despite the established safety and efficacy of the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine after almost 50 years of widespread use, the United States is encountering higher levels of measles and mumps disease than has occurred for years. Return of disease threatens the health of those who remain unimmunized by choice as well as those who are immunized appropriately but experience loss of vaccine-induced immunity. The solution to continued threats of illness caused by these untreatable but readily preventable diseases is compliance with recommendations for administration of the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine. Here we examine trends in the epidemiology of measles, mumps, and rubella in recent years and consider the consequences of loss of protective immunity within our country.
Children insured by Medicaid have higher readmission rates than privately insured children. However, little is known about whether this disparity has changed over time.METHODS:
Data from the 2010 to 2017 Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Nationwide Readmissions Database were used to compare trends in 30-day readmission rates for children insured by Medicaid and private insurers. Patient-level crude and risk-adjusted readmission rates were compared by using Poisson regression. Hospital-level risk-adjusted readmission rates were compared between Medicaid- and privately insured patients within a hospital by using linear regression.RESULTS:
Approximately 60% of pediatric admissions were covered by Medicaid. From 2010 to 2017, the percentage of children with a complex or chronic condition increased for both Medicaid- and privately insured patients. Readmission rates were consistently higher for Medicaid beneficiaries from 2010 to 2017. Readmission rates declined slightly for both Medicaid- and privately insured patients; however, they declined faster for privately insured patients (rate ratio: 0.988 [95% confidence interval: 0.986–0.989] vs 0.995 [95% confidence interval: 0.994–0.996], P for interaction <.001]). After adjustment, readmission rates for Medicaid- and privately insured patients declined at a similar rate (P for interaction = .87). Risk-adjusted hospital readmission rates were also consistently higher for Medicaid beneficiaries. The within-hospital difference in readmission rates for Medicaid versus privately insured patients remained stable over time (slope for difference: 0.015 [SE 0.011], P = .019).CONCLUSIONS:
Readmission rates for Medicaid- and privately insured pediatric patients declined slightly from 2010 to 2017 but remained substantially higher among Medicaid beneficiaries suggesting a persistence of the disparity by insurance status.
Early Childhood Health Outcomes Following In Utero Exposure to Influenza Vaccines: A Systematic Review
Vaccination during pregnancy is an effective strategy for preventing infant disease; however, little is known about early childhood health after maternal vaccination.OBJECTIVES:
To systematically review the literature on early childhood health associated with exposure to influenza vaccines in utero.DATA SOURCES:
We searched CINAHL Plus, Embase, Medline, Scopus, and Web of Science for relevant articles published from inception to July 24, 2019.STUDY SELECTION:
We included studies published in English reporting original data with measurement of in utero exposure to influenza vaccines and health outcomes among children <5 years of age.DATA EXTRACTION:
Two authors independently assessed eligibility and extracted data on study design, setting, population, vaccines, outcomes, and results.RESULTS:
The search yielded 3647 records, of which 9 studies met the inclusion criteria. Studies examined infectious, atopic, autoimmune, and neurodevelopmental outcomes, and all-cause morbidity and mortality. Authors of 2 studies reported an inverse association between pandemic influenza vaccination and upper respiratory tract infections, gastrointestinal infections, and all-cause hospitalizations; and authors of 2 studies reported modest increased association between several childhood disorders and pandemic or seasonal influenza vaccination, which, after adjusting for confounding and multiple comparisons, were not statistically significant.LIMITATIONS:
Given the small number of studies addressing similarly defined outcomes, meta-analyses were deemed not possible.CONCLUSIONS:
Results from the few studies in which researchers have examined outcomes in children older than 6 months of age did not identify an association between exposure to influenza vaccines in utero and adverse childhood health outcomes.
Acute nystagmus (AN) is an uncommon neurologic sign in children presenting to pediatric emergency departments. We described the epidemiology, clinical features, and underlying causes of AN in a large cohort of children, aiming at identifying features associated with higher risk of severe underlying urgent conditions (UCs).METHODS:
Clinical records of all patients aged 0 to 18 years presenting for AN to the pediatric emergency departments of 9 Italian hospitals in an 8-year period were retrospectively reviewed. Clinical and demographic features and the underlying causes were analyzed. A logistic regression model was applied to detect predictive variables associated with a higher risk of UCs.RESULTS:
A total of 206 patients with AN were included (male-to-female ratio: 1.01; mean age: 8 years 11 months). The most frequently associated symptoms were headache (43.2%) and vertigo (42.2%). Ataxia (17.5%) and strabismus (13.1%) were the most common neurologic signs. Migraine (25.7%) and vestibular disorders (14.1%) were the most common causes of AN. Idiopathic infantile nystagmus was the most common cause in infants <1 year of age. UCs accounted for 18.9% of all cases, mostly represented by brain tumors (8.3%). Accordant with the logistic model, cranial nerve deficits, ataxia, or strabismus were strongly associated with an underlying UC. Presence of vertigo or attribution of a nonurgent triage code was associated with a reduced risk of UCs.CONCLUSIONS:
AN should be considered an alarming finding in children given the risk of severe UCs. Cranial nerve palsy, ataxia, and strabismus should be considered red flags during the assessment of a child with AN.