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Treatment of Children with Protein – Losing Enteropathy After Fontan and Other Complex Congenital Heart Disease Procedures in Condition with Limited Human and Technical Resources

Ramush Bejiqi, Ragip Retkoceri, Naim Zeka, Hana Bejiqi, Armend Vuqiterna, Arlinda Maloku.

Cited by (2)

Abstract
Background Protein-losing enteropathy (PLE) is a disorder characterized by abnormal and often profound enteric protein loss. It’s relatively uncommon complication of Fontan and other complex congenital heart disease (CCHD) procedures. Because of the complexity and rarity of this disease process, the pathogenesis and pathophysiology of protein-losing enteropathy remain poorly understood, and attempts at treatment seldom yield long-term success. Aim of presentation is to describe single centre experience in diagnosis, evaluation, management and treatment of children with protein-losing enteropathy after Fontan and other CCHD procedures in the current era and in centre with limited human and technical resources, follows with a comprehensive review of protein-losing enteropathy publications, and concludes with suggestions for prevention and treatment. Material and methodology Retrospectively we analyzed patients with CCHD and protein-losing enteropathy in our institution, starting from January 2000 to December 2012. The including criteria were age between two and 17 years, to have a complex congenital heart disease and available complete documentation of cardiac surgery under cardiopulmonary bypass. Results Of all patients we evaluated 18 cases with protein-losing enteropathy, aged 6 to 19 years (mean 14± 9); there were three children who had undergone screening procedure for D-transposition, one Tetralogy of Fallot, and remaining 14 patients had undergone Fontan procedures; (anatomic diagnosis are: six with tricuspid atresia, seven with d-transposition, double outlet right ventricle and pulmonary atresia and two with hypoplastic left heart syndrome). The diagnosis of protein-losing enteropathy was made at median age of 5.6 years, ranging from 13 months to 15 years. Diagnosis was made using alpha 1-antitrypsin as a gold marker in stool. By physical examination in 14 patients edema was found, in three ascites, and six patients had pleural effusion. Laboratory findings at the time of diagnosis are: abnormal enteric protein loss was documented at the time of diagnosis in all 18 patients. At the time of diagnosis all patients receiving some form of anticoagulation, 17 patients receiving other medication: 17 – diuretics and ACE inhibitors, 12 digoxin, 9 antiarrhytmics. Cross-sectional echocardiography was performed for all patients and different abnormalities were registered. In 14 patients also magnetic resonance was performed. Therapeutic approach was based on the non-specific medication (diet, diuretics, digoxin, ACE inhibitors, and anticoagulants), heparin and corticosteroids therapy. Long-term response to this type of therapy was registered in three patients. Nine patients underwent treatment with heparin and corticosteroids and no one experienced long term benefit. Despite of needs for catheter therapy or surgical intervention in our study, in the absent of technical and human resources now any one had underwent those procedures. Six patients h

Key words: tricuspid atresia, Fontan procedures, protein-losing enteropathy, complex congenital heart disease



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