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Feeding, growth, nutrition, and optimal interstage surveillance for infants with hypoplastic left heart syndrome.

Improvement in operative survival of patients with hypoplastic left heart syndrome has led to increasing emphasis on prevention of interstage mortality. Many centres have improved interstage results through programmes of home monitoring following discharge after the Norwood (Stage 1) operation. Experience with heightened interstage surveillance has identified failure to thrive during infancy as a modifiable risk factor for this population, one that has been linked to concerning outcomes at subsequent palliative surgeries. Ensuring normal growth as an infant has thus become a priority of management of patients with functionally univentricular hearts. Herein, we review the existing evidence for best practices in interstage surveillance and optimal nutrition in infants with functionally univentricular hearts. In addition, we highlight data presented at HeartWeek 2011, from Cardiology 2011, the 15th Annual Update on Pediatric and Congenital Cardiovascular Disease, and the 11th Annual International Symposium on Congenital Heart Disease.

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