M E van der Velde

Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, United States

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Publications (33)255.99 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Preventing the progression of fetal aortic stenosis (AS) to hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) requires identification of fetuses with salvageable left hearts who would progress to HLHS if left untreated, a successful in utero valvotomy, and demonstration that a successful valvotomy promotes left heart growth in utero. Fetuses meeting the first criterion are undefined, and previous reports of fetal AS dilation have not evaluated the impact of intervention on in utero growth of left heart structures. We offered fetal AS dilation to 24 mothers whose fetuses had AS. At least 3 echocardiographers assigned a high probability that all 24 fetuses would progress to HLHS if left untreated. Twenty (21 to 29 weeks' gestation) underwent attempted AS dilation, with technical success in 14. Ideal fetal positioning for cannula puncture site and course of the needle (with or without laparotomy) proved to be necessary for procedural success. Serial fetal echocardiograms after intervention demonstrated growth arrest of the left heart structures in unsuccessful cases and in those who declined the procedure, while ongoing left heart growth was seen in successful cases. Resumed left heart growth led to a 2-ventricle circulation at birth in 3 babies. Fetal echocardiography can identify midgestation fetuses with AS who are at high risk for developing HLHS. Timely and successful aortic valve dilation requires ideal fetal and cannula positioning, prevents left heart growth arrest, and may result in normal ventricular anatomy and function at birth.
    Circulation 11/2004; 110(15):2125-31. · 14.95 Impact Factor
  • A.C. Marshall, M.E. van der Velde, W. Tworetzky
    ACC Current Journal Review 11/2004; 13(11):70.
  • A.P. Vlahos, J.E. Lock, D.B. McElhinney, M.E. van der Velde
    ACC Current Journal Review 08/2004; 13(8):54.
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    ABSTRACT: Infants born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome and an intact or highly restrictive atrial septum face a neonatal mortality of at least 48% despite early postnatal left atrial decompression and palliative surgery. Prenatal left atrial decompression has been suggested as a means of improving these outcomes. This study reports the feasibility of fetal catheterization to create an interatrial communication and describes technical considerations. Seven fetuses at 26 to 34 weeks' gestation with hypoplastic left heart syndrome and intact or highly restrictive atrial septum underwent attempted prenatal intervention. Under ultrasound guidance, the atrial septum was approached with a needle introduced percutaneously from the maternal abdominal surface. In 6 of 7 fetuses, the atrial septum was successfully perforated, with balloon dilation of this iatrogenic defect resulting in a small but persistent interatrial communication. There were no maternal complications. One fetus died after the procedure. The remaining fetuses were liveborn at term, although 4 died as neonates. Ultrasound-guided fetal atrial septoplasty consisting of septal puncture and balloon dilation is feasible and can be performed percutaneously to minimize maternal risk. Although we have not demonstrated any positive clinical impact to date, it is our hope that further technical evolution will ultimately enable prenatal left atrial decompression and improvement of outcomes in fetuses with hypoplastic left heart syndrome and intact atrial septum.
    Circulation 08/2004; 110(3):253-8. · 14.95 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) with intact or very restrictive atrial septum is a highly lethal combination. We review our 13-year institutional experience treating this high-risk subgroup of patients with emergent catheter therapy. Infants with HLHS requiring catheter septostomy within the first 2 days of life were compared with a matched control group with adequate interatrial communication. Preoperative, early postoperative, and medium-term survival were evaluated. Earlier experience was compared with recent results to assess the effect of changes in catheterization and surgical and intensive care unit management strategies over the study period. From 1990 to 2002, 33 newborns with HLHS (11% of newborns with HLHS managed during this period) underwent urgent/semiurgent catheterization to create or enlarge an interatrial communication before surgical palliation. Preoperative and early postoperative mortality were high (48%) compared with control HLHS patients, regardless of prenatal diagnosis and despite successful catheter-based atrial septostomy with clinical stabilization. Mortality trended down during the later part of the study period. Those who survived the neonatal period had late survival, pulmonary artery pressure, and resistance similar to those of control subjects. Neonatal mortality in the subgroup of HLHS patients with intact or highly restrictive atrial septum remains high despite successful urgent septostomy. Persistently poor outcomes for these patients have prompted efforts at our center to develop techniques for fetal intervention for this condition, in the hope that prenatal relief of left atrial and pulmonary venous hypertension may promote normal pulmonary vascular and parenchymal development and improve both short- and long-term outcomes.
    Circulation 06/2004; 109(19):2326-30. · 14.95 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A retrospective review was performed in 94 patients with > or =1 cardiac tumors seen on prenatal or neonatal echocardiography at 5 major referral centers. Tuberous sclerosis was present in 68 patients diagnosed with a cardiac tumor in utero or during the neonatal period, including 61 of 64 with multiple tumors.
    The American Journal of Cardiology 08/2003; 92(4):487-9. · 3.43 Impact Factor
  • Journal of the American College of Cardiology 03/2003; 41(6):496-496. · 15.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Absent pulmonary valve with ventricular septal defect is associated with ductal agenesis and markedly dilated main and branch pulmonary arteries. The less common variant with intact ventricular septum generally exhibits a patent ductus and smaller branch pulmonary arteries, and may be associated with tricuspid atresia. We identified 7 patients with the prenatal diagnosis of absent pulmonary valve, 5 with ventricular septal defect (Group 1) and 2 with an intact ventricular septum (Group 2). Imaging, color Doppler, and pulsed-Doppler recordings were analyzed. The branch and main pulmonary arteries were measured and expressed as a ratio with the descending aorta. Pulmonary regurgitation time (PRT) and diastolic acceleration time (DAT) were derived, and DAT/PRT was calculated to characterize diastolic pulmonary flow. Group 1 patients all had a large ventricular septal defect, normal biventricular size and function, and dilated main and branch pulmonary arteries. Group 2 patients had dilated main but smaller branch pulmonary arteries, moderate right ventricular dilation with severe dysfunction, and limited or absent tricuspid inflow. Group 1 demonstrated shorter acceleration time and earlier peak velocity, resulting in a smaller DAT/RT ratio. We speculate that free communication between the fetal aorta and the ventricles may limit atrial inflow and elevate diastolic pressure, affecting cardiac output, ventricular function, and atrioventricular valve development. With an intact ventricular septum, these physiologic and anatomic repercussions are limited to the right ventricle, but with a ventricular septal defect, both ventricles would experience similar consequences and cardiac performance could be critically impaired.
    Echocardiography 09/2002; 19(6):489-93. · 1.25 Impact Factor
  • The American Journal of Cardiology 05/2001; 87(7):919-22. · 3.43 Impact Factor
  • New England Journal of Medicine 09/2000; 343(6):399-402. · 54.42 Impact Factor
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    Adrian M Moran, Steven D Colan, John E Mayer, Mary E van der Velde
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    ABSTRACT: The use of transthoracic echocardiography to detect the presence of thymic tissue has been reported in patients at risk for graft versus host disease. We confirmed the accuracy of this method in patients with tetralogy of Fallot and tetralogy of Fallot/pulmonary atresia, and suggest using a threshold distance of 6.1 cm/m2 (5.5 to 6.3 cm/m2).
    The American Journal of Cardiology 12/1999; 84(10):1268-71, A9. · 3.43 Impact Factor
  • Renate Kaulitz, Richard A. Jonas, Mary E. van der Velde
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    ABSTRACT: In patients with interrupted aortic arch echocardiography provides detailed information about the anatomy of the aortic arch and the associated cardiac anomalies. Only a few reports have evaluated the reliability of this non-invasive diagnostic procedure by correlation with angiographic and surgical findings. From 1988 through 1993, 45 infants with interrupted arch underwent surgical repair (mean age 13.02 days). Of the patients, 33 had interruption of the arch between the left common carotid and subclavian arteries; 25 patients had a ventricular septal defect, and the remaining 20 had coexisting complex congenital heart defects. Preoperative diagnosis was made exclusively by echocardiography in 25 of the patients. Accuracy of echocardiographic diagnosis was evaluated retrospectively by comparing preoperative studies with angiography and surgical reports. We then investigated whether the morphologic features of the interrupted arch might influence surgical procedure or outcome. Intracardiac anatomy was accurately diagnosed by echocardiography in all cases; in 2 patients angiography provided additional information concerning the morphology of the aortic arch. Operative notes described differences in morphology of the arch in 7 patients, but these did not influence the surgical procedure. Direct anastomosis of the interrupted segments was possible in 38 patients, and 36 patients underwent primary intracardiac repair. Echocardiographic measurements revealed that the diameter of the ascending aorta was related to the number of vessels originating from the proximal aortic arch. The distance between the interrupted segments was significantly different according to the site of interruption, but not between cases with an isolated ventricular septal defect versus those with complex heart disease. It did not influence the method of arch repair, nor was it related to recurrent or residual obstruction. Preoperative echocardiography offers accurate and complete diagnosis in the critically ill neonate with interrupted aortic arch and associated intracardiac abnormalities.
    Cardiology in the Young 12/1999; 9(6):562-71. · 0.86 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We describe two families with Adams-Oliver syndrome (AOS), an autosomal dominant malformation syndrome (MIM No. 10030), in which cardiovascular malformations (CVMs) have been reported previously. In the first family, twin boys and their mother had the typical digital and scalp defects of AOS with various obstructive CVMs of the left heart (bicuspid aortic valve, Shone's complex). At least three other relatives not examined personally are reported to have related CVMs (aortic valve stenosis, hypoplastic left heart syndrome). In the second family, a girl had typical AOS digital and scalp defects and a bicuspid aortic valve. At least three other relatives are reported to be mildly affected. Tetralogy of Fallot had been previously reported as the most common CVM in AOS [Zapata HH, Sletten LJ, Pierport MEM (1995). J Med Genet 47:80-84.]. However, with the addition of these new patients and two other literature reports, we emphasize that approximately 20% have a CVM, frequently obstructive lesions of the left heart. Cardiology consultation should be offered to most patients with AOS.
    Clinical Dysmorphology 11/1998; 7(4):235-41. · 0.42 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A newborn female infant was found to have a unique and previously unreported group of anomalies: (1) mitral and aortic atresia with a highly obstructive atrial septum; (2) hypoplasia of the right lung with a crossover segment involving the right lower lobe; (3) normally connected pulmonary veins, two from the left lung and one from the right; and (4) a large anomalous branch of the right pulmonary vein of scimitar configuration that anastomosed with the normally connected right pulmonary vein and with the inferior vena cava (IVC). The scimitar vein appeared obstructed at its junction with the right pulmonary vein and at its junction with the inferior vena cava within the hepatic parenchyma. To our knowledge, this is the first report of a scimitar-like vein coexisting with mitral and aortic atresia and connecting both with the right pulmonary vein and with the inferior vena cava. The highly obstructed left atrium was partially decompressed by retrograde blood flow via the normally connected right pulmonary vein to the anomalous scimitar venous pathway and thence to the inferior vena cava via a pulmonary-to-IVC collateral vein.
    Pediatric and Developmental Pathology 08/1998; 1(5):413-9. · 0.86 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To investigate the accuracy of immediate postbypass transesophageal echocardiography in the assessment of residual cardiac defects, we compared intraoperative transesophageal echocardiograms with intra/postoperative data in 86 patients, aged 4 days to 30.7 years (median = 1.4 years), at risk for a total of 174 postoperative lesions: right (n = 55) or left (n = 26) ventricular outflow tract obstruction, ventricular septal defect (n = 65), aortic (n = 12) or mitral regurgitation (n = 8), or mitral stenosis (n = 8). Accuracy of intraoperative transesophageal echocardiography was evaluated based on comparison with (1) immediate post-bypass left (n = 4) or right (n = 9) ventricular outflow tract pressure gradients by pullback in the operating room, (2) direct surgical inspection of residual ventricular septal defects (n = 3), (3) pulmonary artery oxygen saturation (n = 49), (4) right ventricular outflow tract pullback gradient (n = 24), and (5) transthoracic echocardiogram (n = 51) performed within 40 days of surgery. The results indicate that intraoperative transesophageal echocardiography agreed with intra/postoperative data in 87% of patients at risk for right ventricular outflow tract obstruction, 96% at risk for left ventricular outflow tract obstruction, 97% at risk for ventricular septal defect, and 100% at risk for aortic regurgitation, mitral regurgitation, or mitral stenosis. Significant residual lesions led to immediate surgical revision in 11 cases: 3 ventricular septal defects, 6 right and 2 left ventricular outflow tract obstructions. Of these, intraoperative transesophageal echocardiography confirmed and quantified suspected residual lesions in 7 and identified unsuspected lesions in 4 cases. Immediate postbypass transesophageal echocardiography proved reliable for assessing residual ventricular septal defect, mitral stenosis, and mitral or aortic regurgitation. Although accurate for assessment of the left and right ventricular outflow tracts in most patients, transesophageal echocardiography may not reliably reflect the severity of obstruction in all cases.
    Pediatric Cardiology 06/1998; 19(4):346-51. · 1.55 Impact Factor
  • Mary E. Van Der Velde, Stanton B. Perry
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    ABSTRACT: The rapidly expanding role of transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) in the management and treatment of congenital heart disease includes guidance of interventional cardiac catheterization procedures and monitoring of results. TEE is particularly helpful for assessing device position during device closure of atrial septal defects (ASD), ventricular septal defects, and perivalvar defects, especially when multiple or complex defects are present. It is also useful during balloon dilation of certain congenital and postoperative obstructions. Stent placement for treatment of intracardiac obstructions is facilitated by TEE guidance. The risks associated with Brockenbrough transseptal puncture and ASD enlargement, particularly in the setting of unusual atrial anatomy, may be reduced by TEE guidance of the procedure. TEE monitoring of video assisted thoracoscopic closure of patent ductus arteriousus has contributed to the high success rate of this innovative procedure. TEE imaging assists in positioning of devices and catheters, reduces radiation exposure and contrast load, and provides immediate and continuous assessment not only of results, but of potential complications of interventional procedures. As the applications of interventional catheterization in the field of pediatric cardiology increase so will the role of TEE.
    Echocardiography 10/1997; 14(5):513-528. · 1.26 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cardiovascular stability is an important prerequisite for any new volatile anesthetic. We compared echocardiographically derived indices of myocardial contractility during inhalation induction with sevoflurane and halothane in children. Twenty children were randomized to receive either halothane or sevoflurane for inhalation induction of anesthesia. No preoperative medications were given. Myocardial contractility was evaluated at baseline and at sevoflurane and halothane end-tidal concentrations of 1.0 minimum alveolar concentration (MAC) and 1.5 MAC. There were no differences between groups in patient age, sex, physical status, weight, or height. Equilibration times and MAC multiples of sevoflurane and halothane were comparable. Vital signs remained stable throughout the study. Left ventricular end-systolic meridional wall stress increased with halothane but remained unchanged with sevoflurane. Systemic vascular resistance decreased from baseline to 1 MAC and 1.5 MAC with sevoflurane. Halothane depressed contractility as assessed by the stress-velocity index and stress-shortening index, whereas contractility remained within normal limits with sevoflurane. Total minute stress and normalized total mechanical energy expenditure, measures of myocardial oxygen consumption, did not change with either agent. Myocardial contractility was decreased less during inhalation induction of anesthesia with sevoflurane compared with halothane in children. Although the induction of anesthesia with sevoflurane or halothane was equally well tolerated, the preservation of myocardial contractility with sevoflurane makes it an attractive alternative for inducing anesthesia in children.
    Anesthesiology 01/1997; 85(6):1260-7. · 6.17 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Video-assisted endoscopic techniques have reduced operative trauma in adult thoracic and general surgery, but applications in children with congenital heart disease have been limited. We report the development of video-assisted thoracic surgery procedures for neonates and infants with cardiovascular disease. Endoscopic instruments and techniques for pediatric cardiovascular procedures were designed and tested in the animal laboratory. Forty-eight operations were subsequently performed in 46 pediatric patients ranging in age from 2 hours to 14 years (median 9 months), weighing from 575 grams to 54 kg (median 8.5 kg). Clinical applications included seven different surgical procedures: patent ductus arteriosus interruption in infants (n = 26) and premature neonates (n = 5), vascular ring division (n = 8), pericardial drainage and resection (n = 3), arterial and venous collateral interruption (n = 2), thoracic duct ligation (n = 2), epicardial pacemaker lead insertion (n = 1), and diagnostic thoracoscopy (n = 1). There was no operative mortality. Technical success, defined as a video-assisted procedure completed without incising chest wall muscle or spreading the ribs, was achieved in 39 of 48 procedures (82%), with thoracotomy required to complete nine procedures. Most patients (22/25, 88%) undergoing elective ductus ligation were extubated in the operating room and discharged from the hospital within 48 hours of the operation. Eight of the last 10 patients having ductus ligation were discharged on the first postoperative day. Residual ductal flow was assessed by (1) transesophageal echocardiography in the operating room (incidence: 0/25, 0%, 70% CL 0% to 7.3%); (2) discharge auscultation (incidence: 1/30, 3%, 70% CL 0.5% to 10.8%); and (3) follow-up Doppler echocardiography (incidence: 3/25, 12%, 70% CL 5.4% to 22.6%). Video-assisted thoracoscopic techniques can be safely applied to pediatric patients with patent ductus arteriosus and vascular rings and may become an effective addition to the staged management of more complex forms of congenital heart disease.
    Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery 04/1995; 109(3):499-507; discussion 508. · 3.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We reviewed pre-closure echocardiograms on all patients undergoing transcatheter atrial septal defect (ASD) closure with the Bard double-umbrella occluder device aided by simultaneous transesophageal echocardiography to determine precatheterization predictors of outcome. Transesophageal echocardiograms were performed on 28 of 132 patients (22%) undergoing device closure (age = 3-72 years, mean = 14 years; weight = 15-68 kg, mean = 35 kg). Three devices were removed because of unstable position. Of the remaining 25 patients, 21 had effective closure (residual flow diameter < or = 3 mm) and 18 had favorable arm position (device arm on proper side of the septum and not in contact with an atrioventricular valve leaflet). Only ASD size predicted effective closure. All patients with a maximum defect size of < 13 mm had effective closure. Among the 17 patients with defects > or = 13 mm, 10 had effective closure, 4 had significant residual flow, and 3 had devices removed for unstable position. Atrial dimensions and rim size did not predict effective closure. There were no pre-closure predictors of favorable arm position which was associated only with the size of the device implanted.
    Catheterization and Cardiovascular Diagnosis 02/1995; 34(1):29-34.
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    ABSTRACT: Recent development of prototype pediatric biplane transducers has extended the use of biplane TEE imaging to the neonate. One such TEE probe with 64 imaging elements in each pallet was used perioperatively in 46 infants and children (weight 2.9 to 32 kg) undergoing surgery for complex congenital heart disease. The success rate for passing the transducer, complications of the procedure, and the number of cases in which the vertical plane provided information that was not available from the horizontal plane were determined. Probe insertion was successful in all patients. Imaging was discontinued in one neonate because of possible airway compression by the probe. Image quality was excellent in the other 45 patients. The vertical plane added information over that obtained from the horizontal plane in 58 (44%) of the 132 anomalies identified. The addition of the vertical plane was especially useful in imaging abnormalities of the ventricular outflow tracts.
    American Heart Journal 01/1995; 128(6 Pt 1):1225-33. · 4.56 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

944 Citations
255.99 Total Impact Points


  • 1991–2004
    • Harvard Medical School
      • • Department of Pediatrics
      • • Department of Pathology
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
  • 1992–1999
    • Boston Children's Hospital
      • • Department of Cardiac Surgery
      • • Department of Anesthesia
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States
    • University of Massachusetts Boston
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States