Indexed on: 08 Jun '17Published on: 08 Jun '17Published in: Cardiology in the young
Introduction Paediatricians with Expertise in Cardiology assess children with a full history, examination, and often perform an echocardiogram. A minority are then referred to an outreach clinic run jointly with a visiting paediatric cardiologist. The accuracy of the echocardiography diagnosis made by the Paediatrician with Expertise in Cardiology is unknown. Materials and methods We conducted a retrospective review of clinic letters for children seen in the outreach clinic for the first time between March, 2004 and March, 2011. Children with CHD diagnosed antenatally or elsewhere were excluded. We recorded the echocardiography diagnosis made by the paediatric cardiologist and previously by the Paediatrician with Expertise in Cardiology.The Paediatrician with Expertise in Cardiology referred 317/3145 (10%) children seen in the local cardiac clinics to the outreach clinic over this period, and among them 296 were eligible for inclusion. Their median age was 1.5 years (range 1 month-15.1 years). For 244 (82%) children, there was complete diagnostic agreement between the Paediatrician with Expertise in Cardiology and the paediatric cardiologist. For 29 (10%) children, the main diagnosis was identical with additional findings made by the paediatric cardiologist. The abnormality had resolved in 17 (6%) cases by the time of clinic attendance. In six (2%) patients, the paediatric cardiologist made a different diagnosis. In total, 138 (47%) patients underwent a surgical or catheter intervention. Discussion Paediatricians with Expertise in Cardiology can make accurate diagnoses of CHD in children referred to their clinics. This can allow effective triage of children attending the outreach clinic, making best use of limited specialist resources.