A novel algorithm for classification of interatrial communications within the oval fossa in the newborn: Results from the Copenhagen Baby Heart Study

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Background:An interatrial communication is present in most neonates. The majority are considered the "normal" patency of the oval foramen, while a minority are abnormal atrial septal defects. Differentiation between the two with transthoracic echocardiography may be challenging, and no generally accepted method of classification is presently available. We aimed to develop and determine the reliability of a new classification of interatrial communications in newborns. Methods and Results:An algorithm was developed based on echocardiographic criteria from 495 newborns (median age 11[8;13] days, 51.5% females). The algorithm defines three main categories: patency of the oval foramen, atrial septal defect, and no interatrial communication as well as several subtypes. We found an interatrial communication in 414 (83.6%) newborns. Of these, 386 (93.2%) were categorised as patency of the oval foramen and 28 (6.8%) as atrial septal defects.Echocardiograms from another 50 newborns (median age 11[8;13] days, 36.0% female), reviewed by eight experts in paediatric echocardiography, were used to assess the inter- and intraobserver variation of classification of interatrial communications into patency of the oval foramen and atrial septal defect, with and without the use of the algorithm. Review with the algorithm gave a substantial interobserver agreement (kappa = 0.66), and an almost perfect intraobserver agreement (kappa = 0.82). Without the use of the algorithm, the interobserver agreement between experienced paediatric cardiologists was low (kappa = 0.20). Conclusion:A new algorithm for echocardiographic classification of interatrial communications in newborns produced almost perfect intraobserver and substantial interobserver agreement. The algorithm may prove useful in both research and clinical practice.

TidsskriftCardiology in the Young
Udgave nummer10
Antal sider8
StatusUdgivet - 2023

ID: 330742950