Open AccessReview
Sleep Disorders in Childhood Neurological Diseases
Children 2017, 4(10), 84; doi:10.3390/children4100084 -
Abstract
Sleep problems are frequently addressed as a primary or secondary concern during the visit to the pediatric neurology clinic. Sleep disorders can mimic other neurologic diseases (e.g., epilepsy and movement disorders), and this adds challenges to the diagnostic process. Sleep disorders can significantly
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Sleep problems are frequently addressed as a primary or secondary concern during the visit to the pediatric neurology clinic. Sleep disorders can mimic other neurologic diseases (e.g., epilepsy and movement disorders), and this adds challenges to the diagnostic process. Sleep disorders can significantly affect the quality of life and functionality of children in general and those with comorbid neurological diseases in particular. Understanding the pathophysiology of sleep disorders, recognizing the implications of sleep disorder in children with neurologic diseases and behavioral difficulties, and early intervention continue to evolve resulting in better neurocognitive outcomes. Full article
Open AccessArticle
If You Build It, They Will Come: Initial Experience with a Multi-Disciplinary Pediatric Neurocritical Care Follow-Up Clinic
Children 2017, 4(9), 83; doi:10.3390/children4090083 -
Abstract
Pediatric Neurocritical Care diagnoses account for a large proportion of intensive care admissions. Critical care survivors suffer high rates of long-term morbidity, including physical disability, cognitive impairment, and psychosocial dysfunction. To address these morbidities in Pediatric Neurocritical Care survivors, collaboration between Pediatric Neurology
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Pediatric Neurocritical Care diagnoses account for a large proportion of intensive care admissions. Critical care survivors suffer high rates of long-term morbidity, including physical disability, cognitive impairment, and psychosocial dysfunction. To address these morbidities in Pediatric Neurocritical Care survivors, collaboration between Pediatric Neurology and Pediatric Critical Care created a multidisciplinary follow-up clinic providing specialized evaluations after discharge. Clinic referrals apply to all Pediatric Neurocritical Care patients regardless of admission severity of illness. Here, we report an initial case series, which revealed a population that is heterogenous in age, ranging from 1 month to 18 years, and in diagnoses. Traumatic brain injuries of varying severity as well as neuroinfectious and inflammatory diseases accounted for the majority of referrals. Most patients (87%) seen in the clinic had morbidities identified, requiring ongoing evaluation and expansion of the clinic. Cognitive and psychological disturbance were seen in over half of patients at the initial clinic follow-up. Sleep disturbances, daytime fatigue, headache or chronic pain, and vision or hearing concerns were also common at initial follow-up. Data from this initial population of clinic patients reiterates the need for specialized follow-up care, but also highlights the difficulties related to providing this comprehensive care and evaluating interventions to improve outcomes. Full article
Open AccessReview
Sleep Disorders in Childhood Neurogenetic Disorders
Children 2017, 4(9), 82; doi:10.3390/children4090082 -
Abstract
Genetic advances in the past three decades have transformed our understanding and treatment of many human diseases including neurogenetic disorders. Most neurogenetic disorders can be classified as “rare disease,” but collectively neurogenetic disorders are not rare and are commonly encountered in general pediatric
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Genetic advances in the past three decades have transformed our understanding and treatment of many human diseases including neurogenetic disorders. Most neurogenetic disorders can be classified as “rare disease,” but collectively neurogenetic disorders are not rare and are commonly encountered in general pediatric practice. The authors decided to select eight relatively well-known neurogenetic disorders including Down syndrome, Angelman syndrome, Prader–Willi syndrome, Smith–Magenis syndrome, congenital central hypoventilation syndrome, achondroplasia, mucopolysaccharidoses, and Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Each disorder is presented in the following format: overview, clinical characteristics, developmental aspects, associated sleep disorders, management and research/future directions. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Fever in Children: Pearls and Pitfalls
Children 2017, 4(9), 81; doi:10.3390/children4090081 -
Abstract
Fever in children is a common concern for parents and one of the most frequent presenting complaints in emergency department visits, often involving non-pediatric emergency physicians. Although the incidence of serious infections has decreased after the introduction of conjugate vaccines, fever remains a
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Fever in children is a common concern for parents and one of the most frequent presenting complaints in emergency department visits, often involving non-pediatric emergency physicians. Although the incidence of serious infections has decreased after the introduction of conjugate vaccines, fever remains a major cause of laboratory investigation and hospital admissions. Furthermore, antipyretics are the most common medications administered to children. We review the epidemiology and measurement of fever, the meaning of fever and associated clinical signs in children of different ages and under special conditions, including fever in children with cognitive impairment, recurrent fevers, and fever of unknown origin. While the majority of febrile children have mild, self-resolving viral illness, a minority may be at risk of life-threatening infections. Clinical assessment differs markedly from adult patients. Hands-off evaluation is paramount for a correct evaluation of breathing, circulation and level of interaction. Laboratory markers and clinical prediction rules provide limited help in identifying children at risk for serious infections; however, clinical examination, prudent utilization of laboratory tests, and post-discharge guidance (“safety netting”) remain the cornerstone of safe management of febrile children. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Sleep Disorders in a Sample of Adopted Children: A Pilot Study
Children 2017, 4(9), 77; doi:10.3390/children4090077 -
Abstract
Sleep disorders occur in up to 25% of children and are more prevalent in children who have attention problems and attachment issues. Research shows that foster children display sleep problems, but limited knowledge exists on sleep problems in adopted children. This pilot study
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Sleep disorders occur in up to 25% of children and are more prevalent in children who have attention problems and attachment issues. Research shows that foster children display sleep problems, but limited knowledge exists on sleep problems in adopted children. This pilot study aimed to identify the types of sleep disorders in adopted children and associated psychosocial factors. Parents of adopted children in Ontario, Canada, ages 2–10 years were asked to complete questionnaires evaluating demographic measures, sleep history, and the presence of behavioral problems. Insomnias and parasomnias were reported in adopted children and were associated with attention problems. This pilot study emphasizes the need for further research on the underlying factors governing the relationship between poor sleep and behavioral problems in adopted children. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Experiences of Parent Peer Nutrition Educators Sharing Child Feeding and Nutrition Information
Children 2017, 4(9), 78; doi:10.3390/children4090078 -
Abstract
The aim of this study was to describe the experiences of parents as peer educators disseminating nutrition and child feeding information. Parents of infants aged from birth to three years were trained as peer educators in a face-to-face workshop, and then shared evidence-based
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The aim of this study was to describe the experiences of parents as peer educators disseminating nutrition and child feeding information. Parents of infants aged from birth to three years were trained as peer educators in a face-to-face workshop, and then shared evidence-based child feeding and nutrition information via Facebook, email, and printed resources for six months to peers, family, and social media contacts. Semi-structured telephone or group interviews were conducted after a six-month online and face-to-face peer nutrition intervention period investigating peer educator experiences, barriers, enablers of information dissemination, and the acceptability of the peer educator model. Transcripts from interviews were independently coded by two researchers and thematically analysed. Twenty-eight participants completed the study and were assigned to either group or individual interviews. The cohort consenting to the study were predominantly female, aged between 25 and 34 years, non-indigenous, tertiary educated, and employed or on maternity leave. Dominant themes to emerge from the interviews included that the information was trustworthy, child feeding practice information was considered most helpful, newer parents were the most receptive and family members the least receptive to child feeding and nutrition information, and sharing and receiving information verbally and via social media were preferred over print and email. In conclusion, parents reported positive experiences as peer nutrition educators, and considered it acceptable for sharing evidence-based nutrition information. Further research may determine the impact on diet quality and the food-related behaviours of babies and young children on a population level. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Vitamin D Deficiency: A Potential Modifiable Risk Factor for Cardiovascular Disease in Children with Severe Obesity
Children 2017, 4(9), 80; doi:10.3390/children4090080 -
Abstract
Severe obesity is associated with abnormal lipids and increased risk for cardiovascular disease. Obesity is a risk factor for vitamin D deficiency. We examined relationship between 25-hydroxy vitamin D (25(OH)D) concentrations and lipids in children with severe obesity. Medical records of 376 children
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Severe obesity is associated with abnormal lipids and increased risk for cardiovascular disease. Obesity is a risk factor for vitamin D deficiency. We examined relationship between 25-hydroxy vitamin D (25(OH)D) concentrations and lipids in children with severe obesity. Medical records of 376 children were reviewed. Linear regression models and logistic regression were used to examine the relationship between 25(OH)D and lipids after adjustment for age, gender, season of blood draw, body mass index (BMI) z-score, and BMI % of 95th percentile. Two-hundred sixty-three out of 376 children (70%) had 25(OH)D concentrations < 30 ng/mL. Concentrations of 25(OH)D were positively correlated with those of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) (r2 = 0.08, r = 0.22, β = 0.16, 95% CI = 0.05–0.27, p = 0.004). HDL-C was lower in children with 25(OH)D < 30 ng/mL (n = 263) compared to those with 25(OH)D ≥ 30 ng/mL (n = 113) (41.3 ± 10.2 vs. 46.4 ± 12 mg/dL, p < 0.0001). Children with 25(OH)D concentrations < 30 ng/mL had greater adjusted odds of low HDL-C (<40 mg/dL) compared with those with 25(OH)D ≥ 30 ng/mL (47.9% vs. 29.2%, OR 2.15 (1.33–3.51), p = 0.0019). Total cholesterol and non-HDL-C were not correlated with 25(OH)D concentrations. Vitamin D deficiency is highly prevalent in children with severe obesity. Prospective clinical trials are warranted to determine if vitamin D supplementation can improve HDL-C and potentially decrease risk for cardiovascular disease in children with obesity. Full article
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Open AccessBrief Report
Assessment of Initial Vancomycin Dosing in Pediatric Oncology Patients
Children 2017, 4(9), 79; doi:10.3390/children4090079 -
Abstract
This was a retrospective audit assessing vancomycin dosing of 60 mg/kg/day in the attainment of therapeutic concentrations between 10–20 mcg/mL among 56 pediatric oncology patients. Twelve patients (21%) achieved therapeutic concentrations of 10–20 mcg/mL, while 44 patients (79%) obtained trough levels below 10
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This was a retrospective audit assessing vancomycin dosing of 60 mg/kg/day in the attainment of therapeutic concentrations between 10–20 mcg/mL among 56 pediatric oncology patients. Twelve patients (21%) achieved therapeutic concentrations of 10–20 mcg/mL, while 44 patients (79%) obtained trough levels below 10 mcg/mL despite the addition of nephrotoxic agents. Full article
Open AccessEditorial
Mind-Body Medicine in Pediatrics
Children 2017, 4(9), 76; doi:10.3390/children4090076 -
Abstract
The primary goals of this Special Issue are to encourage readers to become more familiar with the range of mind-body therapies and to explore their application in the pediatric clinical setting. The Special Issue includes a deliberate mix of case studies and practical
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The primary goals of this Special Issue are to encourage readers to become more familiar with the range of mind-body therapies and to explore their application in the pediatric clinical setting. The Special Issue includes a deliberate mix of case studies and practical clinical guidance, with the dual goals of piquing curiosity and providing resources for clinicians interested in pursuing further training Full article
Open AccessReview
Diagnostic Approach to Pulmonary Hypertension in Premature Neonates
Children 2017, 4(9), 75; doi:10.3390/children4090075 -
Abstract
Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) is a form of chronic lung disease in premature infants following respiratory distress at birth. With increasing survival of extremely low birth weight infants, alveolar simplification is the defining lung characteristic of infants with BPD, and along with pulmonary hypertension,
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Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) is a form of chronic lung disease in premature infants following respiratory distress at birth. With increasing survival of extremely low birth weight infants, alveolar simplification is the defining lung characteristic of infants with BPD, and along with pulmonary hypertension, increasingly contributes to both respiratory morbidity and mortality in these infants. Growth restricted infants, infants born to mothers with oligohydramnios or following prolonged preterm rupture of membranes are at particular risk for early onset pulmonary hypertension. Altered vascular and alveolar growth particularly in canalicular and early saccular stages of lung development following mechanical ventilation and oxygen therapy, results in developmental lung arrest leading to BPD with pulmonary hypertension (PH). Early recognition of PH in infants with risk factors is important for optimal management of these infants. Screening tools for early diagnosis of PH are evolving; however, echocardiography is the mainstay for non-invasive diagnosis of PH in infants. Cardiac computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance are being used as imaging modalities, however their role in improving outcomes in these patients is uncertain. Follow-up of infants at risk for PH will help not only in early diagnosis, but also in appropriate management of these infants. Aggressive management of lung disease, avoidance of hypoxemic episodes, and optimal nutrition determine the progression of PH, as epigenetic factors may have significant effects, particularly in growth-restricted infants. Infants with diagnosis of PH are managed with pulmonary vasodilators and those resistant to therapy need to be worked up for the presence of cardio-vascular anomalies. The management of infants and toddlers with PH, especially following premature birth is an emerging field. Nonetheless, combination therapies in a multi-disciplinary setting improves outcomes for these infants. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Insulin Resistance and NAFLD: A Dangerous Liaison beyond the Genetics
Children 2017, 4(8), 74; doi:10.3390/children4080074 -
Abstract
Over the last decade, the understanding of the association between insulin resistance (IR) and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has dramatically evolved. There is clear understanding that carriers of some common genetic variants, i.e., the patatin-like phospholipase domain-containing 3 (PNPLA3) or the transmembrane
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Over the last decade, the understanding of the association between insulin resistance (IR) and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has dramatically evolved. There is clear understanding that carriers of some common genetic variants, i.e., the patatin-like phospholipase domain-containing 3 (PNPLA3) or the transmembrane 6 superfamily member 2 (TM6SF2) are at risk of developing severe forms of NAFLD even in the presence of reduced or absent IR. In contrast, there are obese patients with “metabolic” (non-genetically driven) NAFLD who present severe IR. Owing to the epidemic obesity and the high prevalence of these genetic variants in the general population, the number of pediatric cases with combination of genetic and metabolic NAFLD is expected to be very high. Gut dysbiosis, excessive dietary intake of saturated fats/fructose-enriched foods and exposure to some chemicals contribute all to both IR and NAFLD, adding further complexity to the understanding of their relationship. Once NAFLD is established, IR can accelerate the progression to the more severe form of liver derangement that is the non-alcoholic steatohepatitis. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Imaging Features of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease in Children and Adolescents
Children 2017, 4(8), 73; doi:10.3390/children4080073 -
Abstract
Non-invasive diagnosis and quantification of liver steatosis is important to overcome limits of liver biopsy, in order to follow up patients during their therapy and to establish a reference standard that can be used in clinical trials and longitudinal studies. Imaging offers several
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Non-invasive diagnosis and quantification of liver steatosis is important to overcome limits of liver biopsy, in order to follow up patients during their therapy and to establish a reference standard that can be used in clinical trials and longitudinal studies. Imaging offers several methods in this setting: ultrasound, which is the cheapest technique and easy to perform; magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), which reflects the real content of triglycerides in a specific volume; and proton density fat fraction (PDFF) magnetic resonance, which is a simple method that reflects the distribution of the fat in the whole liver. Other techniques include ultrasound elastography (EUS) and magnetic resonance elastrography (MRE), which can evaluate the progression of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) into non-alcoholic steato-hepatitis (NASH) and cirrhosis, by quantifying liver fibrosis. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Assessment of Sleep in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Children 2017, 4(8), 72; doi:10.3390/children4080072 -
Abstract
Sleep disturbances in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are significantly more prevalent than found in typically developing (TD) children. Given the detrimental impact of poor sleep on cognitive, emotional, and behavioral functioning, it is imperative to screen and assess for sleep disturbances
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Sleep disturbances in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are significantly more prevalent than found in typically developing (TD) children. Given the detrimental impact of poor sleep on cognitive, emotional, and behavioral functioning, it is imperative to screen and assess for sleep disturbances in this population. In this paper, we describe the screening and assessment process, as well as specific measures commonly used for assessing sleep in children with ASD. Advantages and limitations for use in children with ASD are discussed. While subjective measures, such as parent-report questionnaires and sleep diaries, are the most widely used, more objective measures such as actigraphy, polysomnography, and videosomnography provide additional valuable information for both diagnostic purposes and treatment planning. These objective measures, nonetheless, are limited by cost, availability, and feasibility of use with children with ASD. The current review provides an argument for the complementary uses of both subjective and objective measures of sleep specifically for use in children with ASD. Full article
Open AccessReview
The Pulmonary Circulation in the Single Ventricle Patient
Children 2017, 4(8), 71; doi:10.3390/children4080071 -
Abstract
In recent decades, survival of children with complex congenital heart disease has improved considerably. Specifically, children with a variety of congenital heart defects resulting in ‘single ventricle’ physiology can now undergo palliative surgery that allows survival beyond the neonatal period, and in many
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In recent decades, survival of children with complex congenital heart disease has improved considerably. Specifically, children with a variety of congenital heart defects resulting in ‘single ventricle’ physiology can now undergo palliative surgery that allows survival beyond the neonatal period, and in many cases into adulthood, despite having a single functional ventricular pumping chamber supplying both the pulmonary and systemic circulation. Our growing understanding of the functionally univentricular heart has resulted in freedom from Fontan failure of >50% at 25 years post-Fontan. Yet there is still a fair amount of knowledge to be gained, specifically as it relates to the pulmonary circulation in this group of patients. Knowledge gaps relate not only to the pulmonary circulation after Fontan operation, but also at each stage of the single ventricle surgical palliation, including the native physiology prior to any intervention. The pulmonary circulation is affected by multiple issues related to the single ventricle, including specific details of the anatomy unique to each patient, any intervention(s) undertaken, and potential complications such as aortopulmonary collaterals, protein losing enteropathy, plastic bronchitis, venovenous collaterals, pulmonary arteriovenous fistulae, ventricular dysfunction, pulmonary venous stenosis, and more. This chapter will review the current knowledge with regard to the pulmonary circulation in the single ventricle patient, primarily after the Fontan operation. Additionally, it is our hope to help the practitioner assess the pulmonary circulation in the single ventricle patient; we will also discuss the evidence behind and approach to treatment strategies in order to optimize the pulmonary circulation in this complex group of patients. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Trends in Food and Beverage Portion Sizes in Australian Children; a Time-Series Analysis Comparing 2007 and 2011–2012 National Data
Children 2017, 4(8), 69; doi:10.3390/children4080069 -
Abstract
In 2011–2012 approximately 26% of Australian children aged between 5–17 years were reported to be overweight or obese. Furthermore, the increase in prevalence of overweight and obesity among US children parallels reported increases in energy intake and portion sizes of common foods, leading
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In 2011–2012 approximately 26% of Australian children aged between 5–17 years were reported to be overweight or obese. Furthermore, the increase in prevalence of overweight and obesity among US children parallels reported increases in energy intake and portion sizes of common foods, leading to the recognition that availability of larger portion sizes contributes to the rise in overweight and obesity prevalence. Thus, the aim of this time-series analysis was to investigate whether selected food portion sizes in Australian children aged 2–16 years changed between 2007 and 2011–2012. Portion size data from 24-h recalls collected in Australian nutrition surveys were compared between 2007 and 2011–2012. Portion sizes changed significantly in 23% of items with increases in 15% and decreases in 8%. Changes in portion sizes varied by age, sex, and food group. Changes occurred for many meat-based items, energy-dense, nutrient-poor food items, breads, cereals, and some fruits and vegetables. Vegetable and fruit portion sizes were below the respective serving sizes of 75 g and 150 g in the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating, while portion sizes of some energy-dense, nutrient-poor foods have increased. These findings suggest approaches to increasing consumption of nutrient-dense core foods and reducing energy-dense, nutrient-poor food items in children are warranted. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Health and Self-Regulation among School-Age Children Experiencing Family Homelessness
Children 2017, 4(8), 70; doi:10.3390/children4080070 -
Abstract
Children in homeless families have high levels of adversity and are at risk for behavior problems and chronic health conditions, however little is known about the relationship between cognitive-emotional self-regulation and health among school-aged homeless children. Children (n = 86; mean age 10.5)
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Children in homeless families have high levels of adversity and are at risk for behavior problems and chronic health conditions, however little is known about the relationship between cognitive-emotional self-regulation and health among school-aged homeless children. Children (n = 86; mean age 10.5) living in shelters were assessed for health, family stress/adversity, emotional-behavioral regulation, nonverbal intellectual abilities, and executive function. Vision problems were the most prevalent health condition, followed by chronic respiratory conditions. Cumulative risk, child executive function, and self-regulation problems in children were uniquely related to child physical health. Homeless children experience problems with cognitive, emotional, and behavioral regulation as well as physical health, occurring in a context of high psychosocial risk. Several aspects of children’s self-regulation predict physical health in 9- to 11-year-old homeless children. Health promotion efforts in homeless families should address individual differences in children’s self-regulation as a resilience factor. Full article
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Open AccessCommentary
Key Challenges in the Search for Innovative Drug Treatments for Special Populations. Converging Needs in Neonatology, Pediatrics, and Medical Genetics
Children 2017, 4(8), 68; doi:10.3390/children4080068 -
Abstract
The explosion of knowledge concerning the interplay of genetic and environmental factors determining pathophysiology and guiding therapeutic choice has altered the landscape in pediatric clinical pharmacology and pharmacy. The need for innovative research methods and design expertise for small clinical trials to be
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The explosion of knowledge concerning the interplay of genetic and environmental factors determining pathophysiology and guiding therapeutic choice has altered the landscape in pediatric clinical pharmacology and pharmacy. The need for innovative research methods and design expertise for small clinical trials to be undertaken in sparse populations has been accentuated. At the same time, shortfalls in critical human resources represent a key challenge, especially in low- and middle-income countries where the need for new research and education directions is greatest. Unless a specific action plan is urgently developed, there will be a continuing gap in availability of the essential expertise needed to address treatment challenges in special patient populations such as neonates, patients suffering from rare or neglected diseases, and children of all ages. Full article
Open AccessReview
The Fetus Can Teach Us: Oxygen and the Pulmonary Vasculature
Children 2017, 4(8), 67; doi:10.3390/children4080067 -
Abstract
Neonates suffering from pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN) continue to represent an important proportion of patients requiring intensive neonatal care, and have an increased risk of morbidity and mortality. The human fetus has evolved to maintain a high pulmonary vascular resistance (PVR)
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Neonates suffering from pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN) continue to represent an important proportion of patients requiring intensive neonatal care, and have an increased risk of morbidity and mortality. The human fetus has evolved to maintain a high pulmonary vascular resistance (PVR) in utero to allow the majority of the fetal circulation to bypass the lungs, which do not participate in gas exchange, towards the low resistance placenta. At birth, oxygen plays a major role in decreasing PVR to enhance pulmonary blood flow and establish the lungs as the organ of gas exchange. The failure of PVR to fall following birth results in PPHN, and oxygen remains the mainstay therapeutic intervention in the management of PPHN. Knowledge gaps on what constitutes the optimal oxygenation target leads to a wide variation in practices, and often leads to excessive oxygen use. Owing to the risk of oxygen toxicity, avoiding hyperoxemia is as important as avoiding hypoxemia in the management of PPHN. Current evidence supports maintaining arterial oxygen tension in the range of 50–80 mm Hg, and oxygen saturation between 90–97% in term infants with hypoxemic respiratory failure. Clinical studies evaluating the optimal oxygenation in the treatment of PPHN will be enthusiastically awaited. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Gut–Liver Axis Derangement in Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
Children 2017, 4(8), 66; doi:10.3390/children4080066 -
Abstract
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most frequent type of chronic liver disease in the pediatric age group, paralleling an obesity pandemic. A “multiple-hit” hypothesis has been invoked to explain its pathogenesis. The “first hit” is liver lipid accumulation in obese children
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Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most frequent type of chronic liver disease in the pediatric age group, paralleling an obesity pandemic. A “multiple-hit” hypothesis has been invoked to explain its pathogenesis. The “first hit” is liver lipid accumulation in obese children with insulin resistance. In the absence of significant lifestyle modifications leading to weight loss and increased physical activity, other factors may act as “second hits” implicated in liver damage progression leading to more severe forms of inflammation and hepatic fibrosis. In this regard, the gut–liver axis (GLA) seems to play a central role. Principal players are the gut microbiota, its bacterial products, and the intestinal barrier. A derangement of GLA (namely, dysbiosis and altered intestinal permeability) may promote bacteria/bacterial product translocation into portal circulation, activation of inflammation via toll-like receptors signaling in hepatocytes, and progression from simple steatosis to non-alcoholic steato-hepatitis (NASH). Among other factors a relevant role has been attributed to the farnesoid X receptor, a nuclear transcriptional factor activated from bile acids chemically modified by gut microbiota (GM) enzymes. The individuation and elucidation of GLA derangement in NAFLD pathomechanisms is of interest at all ages and especially in pediatrics to identify new therapeutic approaches in patients recalcitrant to lifestyle changes. Specific targeting of gut microbiota via pre-/probiotic supplementation, feces transplantation, and farnesoid X receptor modulation appear promising. Full article
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Open AccessBrief Report
Trending Longitudinal Agreement between Parent and Child Perceptions of Quality of Life for Pediatric Palliative Care Patients
Children 2017, 4(8), 65; doi:10.3390/children4080065 -
Abstract
Pediatric palliative care studies often rely on proxy-reported instead of direct child-reported quality of life metrics. The purpose of this study was to longitudinally evaluate quality of life for pediatric patients receiving palliative care consultations and to compare patient-reported quality of life with
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Pediatric palliative care studies often rely on proxy-reported instead of direct child-reported quality of life metrics. The purpose of this study was to longitudinally evaluate quality of life for pediatric patients receiving palliative care consultations and to compare patient-reported quality of life with parent perception of the child’s quality of life across wellness domains. The 23-item PedsQL™ V4.0 Measurement Model was utilized for ten child and parent dyads at time of initial palliative care consultation, Month 6, and Month 12 to assess for physical, emotional, social, and cognitive dimensions of quality of life as reported independently by the child and by the parent for the child. Findings were analyzed using Bland–Altman plots to compare observed differences to limits of agreement. This study revealed overall consistency between parent- and child-reported quality of life across domains. Physical health was noted to be in closest agreement. At the time of initial palliative care consult, children collectively scored their social quality of life higher than parental perception of the child’s social quality of life; whereas, emotional and cognitive quality of life domains were scored lower by children than by the parental report. At the one year survey time point, the physical, emotional, and social domains trended toward more positive patient perception than proxy perception with congruence between quality of life scores for the cognitive domain. Findings reveal the importance of eliciting a child report in addition to a parent report when measuring and longitudinally trending perceptions on quality of life. Full article
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