Diagnosis of secondary pulmonary lymphangiectasia in congenital heart disease: a novel role for chest ultrasound and prognostic implications


                <p>Secondary pulmonary lymphangiectasia is a complication of congenital heart disease that results from chronic pulmonary venous obstruction.</p> 

                <p>We aimed to evaluate the performance of chest ultrasound (US) in diagnosing secondary pulmonary lymphangiectasia and to review the clinical course of children with secondary pulmonary lymphangiectasia.</p> 

                </span><h3>Materials and methods</h3> 
                <p>Chest US was performed on 26 children with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, total anomalous pulmonary venous connection or cor triatriatum in a prospective observational study. Thirteen children had pulmonary venous obstruction (62% male; median age: 17 days old, range: 1–430 days old) and 13 children did not have obstruction (62% male; median age: 72 days old, range: 4–333 days old). US features of secondary pulmonary lymphangiectasia were documented and diagnostic performance was determined. Clinical course of patients with secondary pulmonary lymphangiectasia was reviewed.</p> 

                <p>Eleven of 13 (84.6%) patients in the obstructed group had a clinical and/or biopsy diagnosis of secondary pulmonary lymphangiectasia. Statistically significant chest US criteria for diagnosis were presence of irregular lung surface (likelihood ratio [LR] 6.8, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.9–25.1), subpleural cystic appearing structures (LR 3.6, 95% CI 1.2–10.7), and combination of subpleural cystic appearing structures and surface irregularity together (LR 10.9, 95% CI 1.6–75.0). Seven of 11 (63.6%) patients with secondary pulmonary lymphangiectasia died during follow-up, the majority due to cardiopulmonary failure or complications.</p> 

                <p>Chest US is an accurate and reproducible bedside method for diagnosing secondary pulmonary lymphangiectasia in patients with pulmonary venous obstruction. These patients may have worse prognoses.</p> 
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