PMCC PMCC

Search tips
Search criteria

Advanced
Results 1-25 (54)
 

Clipboard (0)
None
Journals
Year of Publication
Document Types
1.  Long-term outcomes five years after selective dorsal rhizotomy 
BMC Pediatrics  2008;8:54.
Background
Selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) is a well accepted neurosurgical procedure performed for the relief of spasticity interfering with motor function in children with spastic cerebral palsy (CP). The goal is to improve function, but long-term outcome studies are rare. The aims of this study were to evaluate long-term functional outcomes, safety and side effects during five postoperative years in all children with diplegia undergoing SDR combined with physiotherapy.
Methods
This study group consisted of 35 children, consecutively operated, with spastic diplegia, of which 26 were Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) levels III–V. Mean age was 4.5 years (range 2.5–6.6). They were all assessed by the same multidisciplinary team at pre- and at 6, 12, 18 months, 3 and 5 years postoperatively. Clinical and demographic data, complications and number of rootlets cut were prospectively registered. Deep tendon reflexes and muscle tone were examined, the latter graded with the modified Ashworth scale. Passive range of motion (PROM) was measured with a goniometer. Motor function was classified according to the GMFCS and measured with the Gross Motor Function Measure (GMFM-88) and derived into GMFM-66. Parent's opinions about the children's performance of skills and activities and the amount of caregiver assistance were measured with Pediatric Evaluation Disability Inventory (PEDI).
Results
The mean proportion of rootlets cut in S2-L2 was 40%. Muscle tone was immediately reduced in adductors, hamstrings and dorsiflexors (p < 0.001) with no recurrence of spasticity over the 5 years. For GMFCS-subgroups I–II, III and IV–V significant improvements during the five years were seen in PROM for hip abduction, popliteal angle and ankle dorsiflexion (p = 0.001), capacity of gross motor function (GMFM) (p = 0.001), performance of functional skills and independence in self-care and mobility (PEDI) (p = 0.001).
Conclusion
SDR is a safe and effective method for reducing spasticity permanently without major negative side effects. In combination with physiotherapy, in a group of carefully selected and systematically followed young children with spastic diplegia, it provides lasting functional benefits over a period of at least five years postoperatively.
doi:10.1186/1471-2431-8-54
PMCID: PMC2633339  PMID: 19077294
2.  Adherence to highly active antiretroviral therapy and its correlates among HIV infected pediatric patients in Ethiopia 
BMC Pediatrics  2008;8:53.
Background
The introduction of combination antiretroviral therapy (ART) has resulted in striking reductions in HIV-related mortality. Despite increased availability of ART, children remain a neglected population. This may be due to concerns that failure to adhere appears to be related to continued viral replication, treatment failure and the emergence of drug-resistant strains of HIV. This study determines the rates and factors associated with adherence to Antiretroviral (ARV) Drug therapy in HIV-infected children who were receiving Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 2008.
Methods
A cross-sectional study was conducted in five hospitals in Addis Ababa from February 18 – April 28, 2008. The study population entailed parents/caretaker and index children who were following ART in the health facilities. A structured questionnaire was used for data collection.
Results
A total of 390 children respondents were included in the study with a response rate of 91%. The majority, equaling 205 (52.6%) of the children, were greater than 9 years of age. Fifty five percent of the children were girls. A total of 339 children (86.9%) as reported by caregivers were adherent to antiretroviral drugs for the past 7 days before the interview. Numerous variables were found to be significantly associated with adherence: children whose parents did not pay a fee for treatment [OR = 0.39 (95%CI: 0.16, 0.92)], children who had ever received any nutritional support from the clinic [OR = 0.34 (95%CI: 0.14, 0.79)] were less likely to adhere. Whereas children who took co-trimoxazole medication/syrup besides ARVs [OR = 3.65 (95%CI: 1.24, 10.74)], children who did not know their sero-status [OR = 2.53 (95%CI: 1.24, 5.19)] and children who were not aware of their caregiver's health problem [OR = 2.45 (95%CI: 1.25, 4.81)] were more likely to adhere than their counterparts.
Conclusion
Adherence to HAART in children in Addis Ababa was higher than other similar setups. However, there are still significant numbers of children who are non-adherent to HAART.
doi:10.1186/1471-2431-8-53
PMCID: PMC2613377  PMID: 19061515
3.  Implementation of a comprehensive program including psycho-social and treatment literacy activities to improve adherence to HIV care and treatment for a pediatric population in Kenya 
BMC Pediatrics  2008;8:52.
Background
To achieve good clinical outcomes with HAART, patient adherence to treatment and care is a key factor. Since the literature on how to care for pediatric HIV patients is limited, we describe here adherence interventions implemented in our comprehensive care program in a resource-limited setting in Kenya.
Methods
We based our program on factors reported to influence adherence to HIV care and treatment. We describe, in detail, our program with respect to how we adapted our clinical settings, implemented psycho-social support activities for children and their caregivers and developed treatment literacy for children and teenagers living with HIV/AIDS.
Results
This paper focused on the details of the program, with the treatment outcomes as secondary. However, our program appeared to have been effective; for 648 children under 15 years of age who were started on HAART, the Kaplan-Meier mortality survival estimate was 95.27% (95%CI 93.16–96.74) at 12 months after the time of initiation of HAART.
Conclusion
Our model of pediatric HIV/AIDS care, focused on a child-centered approach with inclusion of caregivers and extended family, addressed the main factors influencing treatment adherence. It appeared to produce good results and is replicable in resource-limited settings.
doi:10.1186/1471-2431-8-52
PMCID: PMC2613143  PMID: 19025581
4.  Cerebral oxygenation responses during kangaroo care in low birth weight infants 
BMC Pediatrics  2008;8:51.
Background
Kangaroo care (KC) has been widely using to improve the care of low birth weight infants. However, very little is known about cerebral hemodynamics responses in low birth weight infants during KC intervention. The objective of this study was to elucidate the response of cerebral hemodynamics during KC in low birth weight infants.
Methods
Near infrared spectroscopy measured regional cerebral oxygenation (rSO2), heart rate (HR), respiration rate (RR) measured by electrocardiogram, and percentages of oxygen saturation (SpO2) measured by pulse oxymetry was monitored in 16 preterm infants (< 1600 g) in three sessions: before, during, and after KC. Using power spectral analysis, total power (TP), low-frequency (LF, 0.02–0.20 Hz) and high-frequency (HF, 0.20–0.50 Hz) bands, the ratio of LF/HF were calculated and normalized as %LF or %HF = LF or HF/TP × 100 (%).
Results
Significant differences were not observed in the mean rSO2, HR, and SpO2 throughout sessions; however, the TP of these parameters was significantly decreased during KC and increased after KC (p < 0.001). The %LF of LrSO2 and RrSO2 was decreased during KC (p < 0.05) with decreased %HF in RrSO2 (p < 0.05). The %LF of HR was significantly increased during KC while %HF was decreased (p < 0.05). Mean and TP of RR was increased during KC (p < 0.01 respectively) with the increase of quiet sleep state (p < 0.05) and decreased after KC (p < 0.01). The %LF of RR was increased after KC (p < 0.05) with decreased %HF (p < 0.05); however, significant changes were not observed during KC.
Conclusion
KC intervention appears to have influence on cerebral hemodynamics as well as cardiorespiratory parameters. The results of rSO2 and HR might be associated with quiet sleep states. The results of this study may indicate the contribution of KC intervention to the activation of central nervous system and brain function. Further study is needed to determine the underlying physiology responsible for these differences.
doi:10.1186/1471-2431-8-51
PMCID: PMC2585079  PMID: 18990243
5.  Participation in everyday activities and quality of life in pre-teenage children living with cerebral palsy in South West Ireland 
BMC Pediatrics  2008;8:50.
Background
Cerebral palsy (CP) is the most common cause of physical disability in children but its impact on quality of life is not well understood. This study examined participation in everyday activities among children without CP and children with mild, moderate and severe impairment due to CP. We then examined ten domains of quality of life in children with CP and investigated whether participation in everyday activities was associated with improved quality of life independent of gender, age and level of impairment.
Methods
This was a cross-sectional study of children aged 8–12 years based on two questionnaires, frequency of participation (FPQ) and KIDSCREEN, completed by parents of 98 children on the South of Ireland Cerebral Palsy Register (response rate = 82%) and parents of 448 children attending two Cork city schools (response rate = 69%) who completed one questionnaire (FPQ). Multiple linear regression was used: firstly to estimate the effect of severity of CP on participation in everyday activities independent of age and gender and secondly we estimated the effect of participation on quality of life independent of age gender and level of impairment.
Results
Participation in 11 of the 14 everyday activities examined varied across the children without CP and the children with varying severity of CP. In general, increased impairment decreased participation. Independent of age and gender, there was a highly significant decrease in overall participation with a fall of -6.0 (95% CI = -6.9 to -5.2) with each increasing level of impairment. The children with CP generally had high quality of life. Increased impairment was associated with diminished quality of life in just two domains – Physical well-being and Social support and peers. Overall participation in everyday activities was significantly associated with quality of life in 3 of the 10 domains (Physical well-being, Social support and peers & Moods and emotions) in analysis adjusted for gender age and level of impairment.
Conclusion
While increased impairment due to CP restricts participation in the majority of everyday activities, the level of participation has a limited effect on the quality of life of the children with CP in age 8–12 years.
doi:10.1186/1471-2431-8-50
PMCID: PMC2585080  PMID: 18976459
6.  Perinatal complications and socio-economic differences in cerebral palsy in Sweden – a national cohort study 
BMC Pediatrics  2008;8:49.
Background
There is a controversy regarding the existence of a socio-economic gradient for cerebral palsy. Perinatal emergencies and preterm birth increase the risk for the offspring to develop cerebral palsy. The aim of this study was to investigate the association of socio-economic indicators with cerebral palsy (CP) and the role of perinatal health as mediator of this association.
Methods
Register study of a national cohort of 805,543 children born 1987–93, including 1,437 children with cerebral palsy that were identified in hospital discharge data from national registers. Socio-economic indicators of the household were taken from the Census of 1985. Logistic regression and chi-square analyses of linearity were used to test hypotheses.
Results
There was a linear association between the incidence of CP (excluding cases caused by registered injuries or malformations) as well as of major perinatal indicators and the socio-economic status (SES) of the household of the mother (p < 0.001). Children in households with low SES had a higher odds ratio of CP (OR 1.49 [95% C.I. 1.16–1.91]) compared with high SES after adjustment for demographic confounders. This OR decreased to 1.36 (1.05–1.71) after adjustment for perinatal indicators with preterm birth as the most important mediating variable.
Conclusion
This study suggests that there is a continuous socio-economic gradient for CP in Sweden. Further studies in more complete populations of children with cerebral palsy are needed to confirm this. Perinatal complications seem to mediate some of this gradient.
doi:10.1186/1471-2431-8-49
PMCID: PMC2585078  PMID: 18973666
7.  Risk factors for methamphetamine use in youth: a systematic review 
BMC Pediatrics  2008;8:48.
Background
Methamphetamine (MA) is a potent stimulant that is readily available. Its effects are similar to cocaine, but the drug has a profile associated with increased acute and chronic toxicities. The objective of this systematic review was to identify and synthesize literature on risk factors that are associated with MA use among youth.
More than 40 electronic databases, websites, and key journals/meeting abstracts were searched. We included studies that compared children and adolescents (≤ 18 years) who used MA to those who did not. One reviewer extracted the data and a second checked for completeness and accuracy. For discrete risk factors, odds ratios (OR) were calculated and when appropriate, a pooled OR with 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) was calculated. For continuous risk factors, mean difference and 95% CI were calculated and when appropriate, a weighted mean difference (WMD) and 95% CI was calculated. Results were presented separately by comparison group: low-risk (no previous drug abuse) and high-risk children (reported previous drug abuse or were recruited from a juvenile detention center).
Results
Twelve studies were included. Among low-risk youth, factors associated with MA use were: history of heroin/opiate use (OR = 29.3; 95% CI: 9.8–87.8), family history of drug use (OR = 4.7; 95% CI: 2.8–7.9), risky sexual behavior (OR = 2.79; 95% CI: 2.25, 3.46) and some psychiatric disorders. History of alcohol use and smoking were also significantly associated with MA use. Among high-risk youth, factors associated with MA use were: family history of crime (OR = 2.0; 95% CI: 1.2–3.3), family history of drug use (OR = 4.7; 95% CI: 2.8–7.9), family history of alcohol abuse (OR = 3.2; 95% CI: 1.8–5.6), and psychiatric treatment (OR = 6.8; 95% CI: 3.6–12.9). Female sex was also significantly associated with MA use.
Conclusion
Among low-risk youth, a history of engaging in a variety of risky behaviors was significantly associated with MA use. A history of a psychiatric disorder was a risk factor for MA for both low- and high-risk youth. Family environment was also associated with MA use. Many of the included studies were cross-sectional making it difficult to assess causation. Future research should utilize prospective study designs so that temporal relationships between risk factors and MA use can be established.
doi:10.1186/1471-2431-8-48
PMCID: PMC2588572  PMID: 18957076
8.  Abnormal energy regulation in early life: childhood gene expression may predict subsequent chronic mountain sickness 
BMC Pediatrics  2008;8:47.
Background
Life at altitude depends on adaptation to ambient hypoxia. In the Andes, susceptibility to chronic mountain sickness (CMS), a clinical condition that occurs to native highlanders or to sea level natives with prolonged residence at high altitude, remains poorly understood. We hypothesized that hypoxia-associated gene expression in children of men with CMS might identify markers that predict the development of CMS in adults. We assessed distinct patterns of gene expression of hypoxia-responsive genes in children of highland Andean men, with and without CMS.
Methods
We compared molecular signatures in children of highland (HA) men with CMS (n = 10), without CMS (n = 10) and in sea level (SL) children (n = 20). Haemoglobin, haematocrit, and oxygen saturation were measured. Gene expression in white cells was assessed at HA and then, in the same subjects, within one hour of arrival at sea level.
Results
HA children showed higher expression levels of genes regulated by HIF (hypoxia inducible factor) and lower levels of those involved in glycolysis and in the tricarboxilic acid (TCA) cycle. Pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase 1(PDK1) and HIF prolyl hydroxylase 3 (HPH3) mRNA expressions were lowest in children of CMS fathers at altitude. At sea level the pattern of gene expression in the 3 children's groups was indistinguishable.
Conclusion
The molecular signatures of children of CMS patients show impaired adaptation to hypoxia. At altitude children of CMS fathers had defective coupling between glycolysis and mitochondria TCA cycle, which may be a key mechanism/biomarker for adult CMS. Early biologic markers of disease susceptibility in Andeans might impact health services and social planning.
doi:10.1186/1471-2431-8-47
PMCID: PMC2582028  PMID: 18954447
9.  Design of a randomised controlled trial on immune effects of acidic and neutral oligosaccharides in the nutrition of preterm infants: carrot study 
BMC Pediatrics  2008;8:46.
Background
Prevention of serious infections in preterm infants is a challenge, since prematurity and low birth weight often requires many interventions and high utility of devices. Furthermore, the possibility to administer enteral nutrition is limited due to immaturity of the gastrointestinal tract in the presence of a developing immune system. In combination with delayed intestinal bacterial colonisation compared with term infants, this may increase the risk for serious infections. Acidic and neutral oligosaccharides play an important role in the development of the immune system, intestinal bacterial colonisation and functional integrity of the gut. This trial aims to determine the effect of enteral supplementation of acidic and neutral oligosaccharides on infectious morbidity (primary outcome), immune response to immunizations, feeding tolerance and short-term and long-term outcome in preterm infants. In addition, an attempt is made to elucidate the role of acidic and neutral oligosaccharides in postnatal modulation of the immune response and postnatal adaptation of the gut.
Methods/Design
In a double-blind placebo controlled randomised trial, 120 preterm infants (gestational age <32 weeks and/or birth weight <1500 gram) are randomly allocated to receive enteral acidic and neutral oligosaccharides supplementation (20%/80%) or placebo supplementation (maltodextrin) between day 3 and 30 of life. Primary outcome is infectious morbidity (defined as the incidence of serious infections). The role of acidic and neutral oligosaccharides in modulation of the immune response is investigated by determining the immune response to DTaP-IPV-Hib(-HBV)+PCV7 immunizations, plasma cytokine concentrations, faecal Calprotectin and IL-8. The effect of enteral acidic and neutral oligosaccharides supplementation on postnatal adaptation of the gut is investigated by measuring feeding tolerance, intestinal permeability, intestinal viscosity, and determining intestinal microflora. Furthermore, short-term and long-term outcome are evaluated.
Discussion
Especially preterm infants, who are at increased risk for serious infections, may benefit from supplementation of prebiotics. Most studies with prebiotics only focus on the colonisation of the intestinal microflora. However, the pathways how prebiotics may influence the immune system are not yet fully understood. Studying the immune modulatory effects is complex because of the multicausal risk of infections in preterm infants. The combination of neutral oligosaccharides with acidic oligosaccharides may have an increased beneficial effect on the immune system. Increased insight in the effects of prebiotics on the developing immune system may help to decrease the (infectious) morbidity and mortality in preterm infants.
Trial registration
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN16211826.
doi:10.1186/1471-2431-8-46
PMCID: PMC2579424  PMID: 18947426
10.  Childhood osteomyelitis-incidence and differentiation from other acute onset musculoskeletal features in a population-based study 
BMC Pediatrics  2008;8:45.
Background
Osteomyelitis can be difficult to diagnose and there has previously not been a prospective approach to identify all children in a defined geographic area. The aim of this study was to assess the annual incidence of osteomyelitis in children, describe the patient and disease characteristics in those with acute (< 14 days disease duration) and subacute osteomyelitis (≥ 14 days disease duration), and differentiate osteomyelitis patients from those with other acute onset musculoskeletal features.
Methods
In a population-based Norwegian study physicians were asked to refer all children with suspected osteomyelitis. Children with osteomyelitis received follow-up at six weeks, six months and thereafter as long as clinically needed.
Results
The total annual incidence rate of osteomyelitis was 13 per 100 000 (acute osteomyelitis 8 and subacute osteomyelitis 5 per 100 000). The incidence was higher in patients under the age of 3 than in older children (OR 2.9, 95%: CI 2.3–3.7). The incidence of non-vertebral osteomyelitis was higher than the incidence of vertebral osteomyelitis (10 vs. 3 per 100 000; p = .002). Vertebral osteomyelitis was more frequent in girls than in boys (OR 7.0, 95%: CI 3.3–14.7). ESR ≥ 40 mm/hr had the highest positive predictive laboratory value to identify osteomyelitis patients at 26% and MRI had a positive predictive value of 85%. Long-bone infection was found in 16 (43%) patients. ESR, CRP, white blood cell count, neutrophils and platelet count were higher for patients with acute osteomyelitis than for patients with subacute osteomyelitis. Subacute findings on MRI and doctor's delay were more common in subacute osteomyelitis than in acute osteomyelitis patients. Blood culture was positive in 26% of the acute osteomyelitis patients and was negative in all the subacute osteomyelitis patients.
Conclusion
The annual incidence of osteomyelitis in Norway remains high. ESR values and MRI scan may help to identify osteomyelitis patients and differentiate acute and subacute osteomyelitis.
doi:10.1186/1471-2431-8-45
PMCID: PMC2588573  PMID: 18937840
11.  Energy and macronutrient intakes in preschool children in urban areas of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam 
BMC Pediatrics  2008;8:44.
Background
An increasing prevalence of overweight and obesity has been documented in preschool children in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC), Vietnam. However, little is known about what preschool children in HCMC eat or how well their nutrient intake meets nutrient recommendations. This study aims to describe the energy and macronutrient intake and compare these nutrient intakes with the recommendations for Vietnamese children aged four to five years.
Methods
The data comes from the baseline measurement of a one year follow-up study on obesity in 670 children attending kindergartens in HCMC. Dietary information for each child at the school and home settings was collected using Food Frequency Questionnaires (FFQs), by interviewing teachers and parents or main caregivers. The average energy and nutrient intake in a day was calculated. The proportion of children with energy intake from macronutrients meeting or exceeding the recommendations was estimated based on the 2006 recommended daily allowance (RDA) for Vietnamese children in this age group.
Results
The dietary intake of the participants contained more energy from protein and fat, particularly animal protein and fat, and less energy from carbohydrates, than the RDA. Most children (98.1%) had mean energy intake from protein greater than the recommended level of 15%, and no child obtained energy from animal fat that was in accordance with the recommendation of less than 30% of the total fat intake. Nearly one half of children (46.5%) consumed less than the advised range of mean energy intake from carbohydrate (60%–70%).
Conclusion
In this preschool child population in HCMC, in which obesity is emerging as major public health problem, there is an imbalance in dietary intake. Healthy eating programs need to be developed as a part of an obesity prevention program for young children in HCMC.
doi:10.1186/1471-2431-8-44
PMCID: PMC2575195  PMID: 18928562
12.  Hemorrhagic shock and encephalopathy syndrome – the markers for an early HSES diagnosis 
BMC Pediatrics  2008;8:43.
Background
The hemorrhagic shock and encephalopathy syndrome (HSES) is a devastating disease that affects young children. The outcomes of HSES patients are often fatal or manifesting severe neurological sequelae. We reviewed the markers for an early diagnosis of HSES.
Methods
We examined the clinical, biological and radiological findings of 8 patients (4 months to 9 years old) who met the HSES criteria.
Results
Although cerebral edema, disseminated intravascular coagulopathy (DIC), and multiple organ failure were seen in all 8 cases during their clinical courses, brain computed tomography (CT) scans showed normal or only slight edema in 5 patients upon admission. All 8 patients had normal platelet counts, and none were in shock. However, they all had severe metabolic acidosis, which persisted even after 3 hours (median base excess (BE), -7.6 mmol/L). And at 6 hours after admission (BE, -5.7 mmol/L) they required mechanical ventilation. Within 12 hours after admission, fluid resuscitation and vasopressor infusion for hypotension was required. Seven of the patients had elevated liver enzymes and creatine kinase (CK) upon admission. Twenty-four hours after admission, all 8 patients needed vasopressor infusion to maintain blood pressure.
Conclusion
CT scan, platelet count, hemoglobin level and renal function upon admission are not useful for an early diagnosis of HSES. However, the elevated liver enzymes and CK upon admission, hypotension in the early stage after admission with refractory acid-base disturbance to fluid resuscitation and vasopressor infusion are useful markers for an early HSES diagnosis and helpful to indicate starting intensive neurological treatment.
doi:10.1186/1471-2431-8-43
PMCID: PMC2577649  PMID: 18922188
13.  Exclusive breastfeeding of Swedish children and its possible influence on the development of obesity: a prospective cohort study 
BMC Pediatrics  2008;8:42.
Background
Overweight and obesity are increasing among children all over the world. Socio-economic factors may influence the development of overweight and obesity in childhood, and it has been proposed that breastfeeding may protect against obesity. The aim of our study was to examine the relationship between exclusive breastfeeding and obesity when potential confounders, such as socioeconomic factors, are considered.
Methods
The data analyzed was from ABIS (All Babies in Southeast Sweden), a prospective cohort study. All parents with children born between October 1, 1997 and October 1, 1999 in Southeast Sweden (n = 21,700) were asked to participate. Parents were asked to answer periodic questionnaires from the time of the child's birth (n = 16,058) until he/she was five years of age (n = 7,356). Cutoffs for overweight and obesity were defined according to Cole et al, age and gender adjusted. Short-term exclusive breastfeeding was defined as < 4 months of exclusive breastfeeding. Multiple logistic regressions were used to identify variables that predict the child's BMI (Body Mass Index) at five years of age.
Results
At five years of age, 12.9% of the children in the study wereoverweight and 4.3% were obese. At the age of three months, 78.4% of the children were being breastfed exclusively. The median exclusive breastfeeding duration was four months. High maternal BMI > 30 (AOR = 1.07; CI = 1.05–1.09; P < 0.001), maternal smoking (AOR = 1.43; CI = 1.05–1.95; P = 0.023) and being a single parent (AOR = 2.10; CI = 1.43–3.09; P < 0.001) were associated with short-term exclusive breastfeeding (less than 4 months). Short-term exclusive breastfeeding was less common if one of the parents had a university degree (Mother: AOR = 0.74; CI = 0.61–0.90; P = 0.003 Father: AOR = 0.73; CI = 0.58–0.92; P = 0.008) or if the father was more than 37 years old (AOR = 0.74; CI = 0.55–0.99; P = 0.045). Short-term exclusive breastfeeding was associated with obesity in five-year-old children (simple logistic regression: OR = 1.44; CI = 1.00–2.07; P = 0.050), but when including other independent factors in the analysis, short-term exclusive breastfeeding did not attain statistical significance.
Conclusion
We cannot exclude the possibility that exclusive breastfeeding influences weight development, but it does not seem to protect against obesity at five years of age.
doi:10.1186/1471-2431-8-42
PMCID: PMC2577650  PMID: 18844983
14.  Lower limb strength training in children with cerebral palsy – a randomized controlled trial protocol for functional strength training based on progressive resistance exercise principles 
BMC Pediatrics  2008;8:41.
Background
Until recently, strength training in children with cerebral palsy (CP) was considered to be inappropriate, because it could lead to increased spasticity or abnormal movement patterns. However, the results of recent studies suggest that progressive strength training can lead to increased strength and improved function, but low methodological quality and incomplete reporting on the training protocols hampers adequate interpretation of the results. This paper describes the design and training protocol of a randomized controlled trial to assess the effects of a school-based progressive functional strength training program for children with CP.
Methods/Results
Fifty-one children with Gross Motor Function Classification Systems levels I to III, aged of 6 to 13 years, were recruited. Using stratified randomization, each child was assigned to an intervention group (strength training) or a control group (usual care). The strength training was given in groups of 4–5 children, 3 times a week, for a period of 12 weeks. Each training session focussed on four exercises out of a 5-exercise circuit. The training load was gradually increased based on the child's maximum level of strength, as determined by the 8 Repetition Maximum (8 RM). To evaluate the effectiveness of the training, all children were evaluated before, during, directly after, and 6 weeks after the intervention period. Primary outcomes in this study were gross motor function (measured with the Gross Motor Function Measure and functional muscle strength tests) and walking ability (measured with the 10-meter, the 1-minute and the timed stair test). Secondary outcomes were lower limb muscle strength (measured with a 6 RM test, isometric strength tests, and a sprint capacity test), mobility (measured with a mobility questionnaire), and sport activities (measured with the Children's Assessment of Participation and Enjoyment). Spasticity and range of motion were assessed to evaluate any adverse events.
Conclusion
Randomized clinical trials are considered to present the highest level of evidence. Nevertheless, it is of utmost importance to report on the design, the applied evaluation methods, and all elements of the intervention, to ensure adequate interpretation of the results and to facilitate implementation of the intervention in clinical practice if the results are positive.
Trial Registration
Trial Register NTR1403
doi:10.1186/1471-2431-8-41
PMCID: PMC2579291  PMID: 18842125
15.  Point-of-admission hypothermia among high-risk Nigerian newborns 
BMC Pediatrics  2008;8:40.
Background
Facilities which manage high-risk babies should frequently assess the burden of hypothermia and strive to reduce the incidence.
Objective
To determine the incidence and outcome of point-of-admission hypothermia among hospitalized babies.
Methods
The axillary temperatures of consecutive admissions into a Nigerian Newborn Unit were recorded. Temperature <36.5°C defined hypothermia. The biodata and outcome of these babies were studied.
Results
Of 150 babies aged 0 to 648 hours, 93 had hypothermia with an incidence of 62%. Mild and moderate hypothermia accounted for 47.3% and 52.7% respectively. The incidence of hypothermia was highest (72.4%) among babies aged less than 24 hours. It was also higher among out-born babies compared to in-born babies (64.4% vs 58.3%). Preterm babies had significantly higher incidence of hypothermia (82.5%) compared with 54.5% of term babies (RR = 1.51; CI = 1.21 – 1.89). The incidence of hypothermia was also highest (93.3%) among very-low-birth-weight babies.
The Case-Fatality-Rate was significantly higher among hypothermic babies (37.6% vs 16.7%; RR = 2.26, CI = 1.14 – 4.48) and among out-born hypothermic babies (50% vs 17.1%; RR = 0.34, CI = 0.16 – 0.74). CFR was highest among hypothermic babies with severe respiratory distress, sepsis, preterm birth and asphyxia.
Conclusion
The high incidence and poor outcome of hypothermia among high-risk babies is important. The use of the 'warm chain' and skin-to-skin contact between mother and her infant into routine delivery services in health facilities and at home may be useful.
doi:10.1186/1471-2431-8-40
PMCID: PMC2567312  PMID: 18837973
16.  Success with antiretroviral treatment for children in Kigali, Rwanda: Experience with health center/nurse-based care 
BMC Pediatrics  2008;8:39.
Background
Although a number of studies have shown good results in treating children with antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) in hospital settings, there is limited published information on results in pediatric programs that are nurse-centered and based in health centers, in particular on the psychosocial aspects of care.
Methods
Program treatment and outcome data were reported from two government-run health centers that were supported by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in Kigali, Rwanda between October 2003 and June 2007. Interviews were held with health center staff and MSF program records were reviewed to describe the organization of the program. Important aspects included adequate training and supervision of nurses to manage ARV treatment. The program also emphasized family-centered care addressing the psychosocial needs of both caregivers and children to encourage early diagnosis, good adherence and follow-up.
Results
A total of 315 children (< 15 years) were started on ARVs, at a median age of 7.2 years (range: 0.7–14.9). Sixty percent were in WHO clinical stage I/II, with a median CD4% of 14%. Eighty-nine percent (n = 281) started a stavudine-containing regimen, mainly using the adult fixed-dose combination. The median follow-up time after ARV initiation was 2 years (interquartile range 1.2–2.6). Eighty-four percent (n = 265) of children were still on treatment in the program. Thirty (9.5%) were transferred out, eight (2.6%) died and 12 (3.8%) were lost to follow-up. An important feature of the study was that viral loads were done at a median time period of 18 months after starting ARVs and were available for 87% of the children. Of the 174 samples, VL was < 400 copies/ml in 82.8% (n = 144). Two children were started on second-line ARVs. Treatment was changed due to toxicity for 26 children (8.3%), mainly related to nevirapine.
Conclusion
This report suggests that providing ARVs to children in a health center/nurse-based program is both feasible and very effective. Adequate numbers and training of nursing staff and an emphasis on the psychosocial needs of caregivers and children have been key elements for the successful scaling-up of ARVs at this level of the health system.
doi:10.1186/1471-2431-8-39
PMCID: PMC2570363  PMID: 18831747
17.  The Cues and Care Trial: A randomized controlled trial of an intervention to reduce maternal anxiety and improve developmental outcomes in very low birthweight infants 
BMC Pediatrics  2008;8:38.
Background
Very low birthweight infants are at risk for deficits in cognitive and language development, as well as attention and behaviour problems. Maternal sensitive behaviour (i.e. awareness of infant cues and appropriate responsiveness to those cues) in interaction with her very low birthweight infant is associated with better outcomes in these domains; however, maternal anxiety interferes with the mother's ability to interact sensitively with her very low birthweight infant. There is a need for brief, cost-effective and timely interventions that address both maternal psychological distress and interactive behaviour. The Cues and Care trial is a randomized controlled trial of an intervention designed to reduce maternal anxiety and promote sensitive interaction in mothers of very low birthweight infants.
Methods and design
Mothers of singleton infants born at weights below 1500 g are recruited in the neonatal intensive care units of 2 tertiary care hospitals, and are randomly assigned to the experimental (Cues) intervention or to an attention control (Care) condition. The Cues intervention teaches mothers to attend to their own physiological, cognitive, and emotional cues that signal anxiety and worry, and to use cognitive-behavioural strategies to reduce distress. Mothers are also taught to understand infant cues and to respond sensitively to those cues. Mothers in the Care group receive general information about infant care. Both groups have 6 contacts with a trained intervener; 5 of the 6 sessions take place during the infant's hospitalization, and the sixth contact occurs after discharge, in the participant mother's home. The primary outcome is maternal symptoms of anxiety, assessed via self-report questionnaire immediately post-intervention. Secondary outcomes include maternal sensitive behaviour, maternal symptoms of posttraumatic stress, and infant development at 6 months corrected age.
Discussion
The Cues and Care trial will provide important information on the efficacy of a brief, skills-based intervention to reduce anxiety and increase sensitivity in mothers of very low birthweight infants. A brief intervention of this nature may be more readily implemented as part of standard neonatal intensive care than broad-based, multi-component interventions. By intervening early, we aim to optimize developmental outcomes in these high risk infants.
Trial Registration
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN00918472
The Cues and Care Trial: A randomized controlled trial of an intervention to reduce maternal anxiety and improve developmental outcomes in very low birthweight infants
doi:10.1186/1471-2431-8-38
PMCID: PMC2572053  PMID: 18822128
18.  Negative exploration for pyloric stenosis – Is it preventable? 
BMC Pediatrics  2008;8:37.
Background
The diagnosis of infantile hypertrophic pyloric stenosis (IHPS), although traditionally clinical, is now increasingly dependent on radiological corroboration. The rate of negative exploration in IHPS has been reported as 4%. The purpose of our study was to look at elements of supportive clinical evidence leading to positive diagnosis, and to review these with respect to misdiagnosed cases undergoing negative exploration.
Methods
All infants undergoing surgical exploration for IHPS between January 2000 and December 2004 were retrospectively analysed with regard to clinical symptoms, examination findings, investigations and operative findings.
Results
During the study period, 343 explorations were performed with a presumptive diagnosis of IHPS. Of these, 205 infants (60%) had a positive test feed, 269 (78%) had a positive ultrasound scan and 175 (55%) were alkalotic (pH ≥7.45 and/or base excess ≥2.5). The positive predictive value for an ultrasound (US) diagnosis was 99.1% for canal length ≥14 mm, and 98.7% for muscle thickness ≥4 mm.
Four infants (1.1%) underwent a negative surgical exploration; Ultrasound was positive in 3, and negative in 1(who underwent surgery on the basis of a positive upper GI contrast). One US reported as positive had a muscle thickness <4 mm. Two false positive US were performed at peripheral hospitals. One infant had a false positive test feed following a positive ultrasound diagnosis. Two infants had negative test feeds.
Conclusion
A 1% rate of negative exploration in IHPS compares favourably with other studies. However potential causes of error were identified in all 4 cases. Confident diagnosis comprises a combination of positive test feed and an 'in house US' in an alkalotic infant. UGI contrast study should not be used in isolation to diagnose IHPS. If the test feed is negative, strict diagnostic measurements should be observed on US and the pyloric 'tumour' palpated on table under anaesthetic before exploration.
doi:10.1186/1471-2431-8-37
PMCID: PMC2566972  PMID: 18816390
19.  Food allergy knowledge, attitudes and beliefs: Focus groups of parents, physicians and the general public 
BMC Pediatrics  2008;8:36.
Background
Food allergy prevalence is increasing in US children. Presently, the primary means of preventing potentially fatal reactions are avoidance of allergens, prompt recognition of food allergy reactions, and knowledge about food allergy reaction treatments. Focus groups were held as a preliminary step in the development of validated survey instruments to assess food allergy knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs of parents, physicians, and the general public.
Methods
Eight focus groups were conducted between January and July of 2006 in the Chicago area with parents of children with food allergy (3 groups), physicians (3 groups), and the general public (2 groups). A constant comparative method was used to identify the emerging themes which were then grouped into key domains of food allergy knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs.
Results
Parents of children with food allergy had solid fundamental knowledge but had concerns about primary care physicians' knowledge of food allergy, diagnostic approaches, and treatment practices. The considerable impact of children's food allergies on familial quality of life was articulated. Physicians had good basic knowledge of food allergy but differed in their approach to diagnosis and advice about starting solids and breastfeeding. The general public had wide variation in knowledge about food allergy with many misconceptions of key concepts related to prevalence, definition, and triggers of food allergy.
Conclusion
Appreciable food allergy knowledge gaps exist, especially among physicians and the general public. The quality of life for children with food allergy and their families is significantly affected.
doi:10.1186/1471-2431-8-36
PMCID: PMC2564918  PMID: 18803842
20.  Screening rules for growth to detect celiac disease: A case-control simulation study 
BMC Pediatrics  2008;8:35.
Background
It is generally assumed that most patients with celiac disease (CD) have a slowed growth in terms of length (or height) and weight. However, the effectiveness of slowed growth as a tool for identifying children with CD is unknown. Our aim is to study the diagnostic efficiency of several growth criteria used to detect CD children.
Methods
A case-control simulation study was carried out. Longitudinal length and weight measurements from birth to 2.5 years of age were used from three groups of CD patients (n = 134) (one group diagnosed by screening, two groups with clinical manifestations), and a reference group obtained from the Social Medical Survey of Children Attending Child Health Clinics (SMOCC) cohort (n = 2,151) in The Netherlands. The main outcome measures were sensitivity, specificity and positive predictive value (PPV) for each criterion.
Results
Body mass index (BMI) performed best for the groups with clinical manifestations. Thirty percent of the CD children with clinical manifestations and two percent of the reference children had a BMI Standard Deviation Score (SDS) less than -1.5 and a decrease in BMI SDS of at least -2.5 (PPV = 0.85%). The growth criteria did not discriminate between the screened CD group and the reference group.
Conclusion
For the CD children with clinical manifestations, the most sensitive growth parameter is a decrease in BMI SDS. BMI is a better predictor than weight, and much better than length or height. Toddlers with CD detected by screening grow normally at this stage of the disease.
doi:10.1186/1471-2431-8-35
PMCID: PMC2551593  PMID: 18786241
21.  Adherence to antiretroviral therapy in young children in Cape Town, South Africa, measured by medication return and caregiver self-report: a prospective cohort study 
BMC Pediatrics  2008;8:34.
Background
Antiretroviral therapy (ART) dramatically improves outcomes for children in Africa; however excellent adherence is required for treatment success. This study describes the utility of different measures of adherence in detecting lapses in infants and young children in Cape Town, South Africa.
Methods
In a prospective cohort of 122 HIV-infected children commenced on ART, adherence was measured monthly during the first year of treatment by medication return (MR) for both syrups and tablets/capsules. A questionnaire was administered to caregivers after 3 months of treatment to assess experience with giving medication and self-reported adherence. Viral and immune response to treatment were assessed at the end of one year and associations with measured adherence determined.
Results
Medication was returned for 115/122 (94%) children with median age (IQR) of 37 (16 – 61) months. Ninety-one (79%) children achieved annual average MR adherence ≥ 90%. This was an important covariate associated with viral suppression after adjustment for disease severity (OR = 5.5 [95%CI: 0.8–35.6], p = 0.075), however was not associated with immunological response to ART. By 3 months on ART, 13 (10%) children had deceased and 11 (10%) were lost to follow-up. Questionnaires were completed by 87/98 (90%) of caregivers of those who remained in care. Sensitivity of poor reported adherence (missing ≥ 1 dose in the previous 3 days) for MR adherence <90% was only 31.8% (95% CI: 10.7% – 53.0%). Caregivers of 33/87 (38.4%) children reported difficulties with giving medication, most commonly poor palatability (21.8%). Independent socio-demographic predictors of MR adherence ≥ 90% were secondary education of caregivers (OR = 4.49; 95%CI: 1.10 – 18.24) and access to water and electricity (OR = 2.65; 95%CI: 0.93 – 7.55). Taking ritonavir was negatively associated with MR adherence ≥ 90% (OR = 0.37; 95%CI: 0.13 – 1.02).
Conclusion
Excellent adherence to ART is possible in African infants and young children and the relatively simple low technology measure of adherence by MR strongly predicts viral response. Better socio-economic status and more palatable regimens are associated with better adherence.
doi:10.1186/1471-2431-8-34
PMCID: PMC2533648  PMID: 18771599
22.  Endothelin 1 levels in relation to clinical presentation and outcome of Henoch Schonlein purpura 
BMC Pediatrics  2008;8:33.
Background
Henoch Schonlein purpura (HSP) is a common vasculitis of small vessels whereas endothelin-1 (ET-1) is usually reported elevated in vasculities and systematic inflammation. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether ET-1 levels are correlated with the clinical presentation and the outcome of HSP.
Methods
The study sample consisted of thirty consecutive patients with HSP. An equal number of healthy patients of similar age and the same gender were served as controls. The patients' age range was 2–12.6 years with a mean ± SD = 6.3 ± 3 years. All patients had a physical examination with a renal, and an overall clinical score. Blood and urinary biochemistry, immunology investigation, a skin biopsy and ET-1 measurements in blood and urine samples were made at presentation, 1 month later and 1 year after the appearance of HSP. The controls underwent the same investigation with the exception of skin biopsy.
Results
ET-1 levels in plasma and urine did not differ between patients and controls at three distinct time points. Furthermore the ET-1 were not correlated with the clinical score and renal involvement was independent from the ET-1 measurements. However, the urinary ET-1 levels were a significant predictor of the duration of the acute phase of HSP (HR = 0.98, p = 0.032, CI0.96–0.99). The ET-1 levels did not correlate with the duration of renal involvement.
Conclusion
Urinary ET-1 levels are a useful marker for the duration of the acute phase of HSP but not for the length of renal involvement.
doi:10.1186/1471-2431-8-33
PMCID: PMC2542358  PMID: 18764935
23.  Absent otoacoustic emissions predict otitis media in young Aboriginal children: A birth cohort study in Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal children in an arid zone of Western Australia 
BMC Pediatrics  2008;8:32.
Background
Otitis media (OM) is the most common paediatric illness for which antibiotics are prescribed. In Australian Aboriginal children OM is frequently asymptomatic and starts at a younger age, is more common and more likely to result in hearing loss than in non-Aboriginal children. Absent transient evoked otoacoustic emissions (TEOAEs) may predict subsequent risk of OM.
Methods
100 Aboriginal and 180 non-Aboriginal children in a semi-arid zone of Western Australia were followed regularly from birth to age 2 years. Tympanometry was conducted at routine field follow-up from age 3 months. Routine clinical examination by an ENT specialist was to be done 3 times and hearing assessment by an audiologist twice. TEOAEs were measured at ages <1 and 1–2 months. Cox proportional hazards model was used to investigate the association between absent TEOAEs and subsequent risk of OM.
Results
At routine ENT specialist clinics, OM was detected in 55% of 184 examinations in Aboriginal children and 26% of 392 examinations in non-Aboriginal children; peak prevalence was 72% at age 5–9 months in Aboriginal children and 40% at 10–14 months in non-Aboriginal children. Moderate-severe hearing loss was present in 32% of 47 Aboriginal children and 7% of 120 non-Aboriginal children aged 12 months or more.
TEOAE responses were present in 90% (46/51) of Aboriginal children and 99% (120/121) of non-Aboriginal children aged <1 month and in 62% (21/34) and 93% (108/116), respectively, in Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal children at age 1–2 months. Aboriginal children who failed TEOAE at age 1–2 months were 2.6 times more likely to develop OM subsequently than those who passed.
Overall prevalence of type B tympanograms at field follow-up was 50% (n = 78) in Aboriginal children and 20% (n = 95) in non-Aboriginal children.
Conclusion
The burden of middle ear disease is high in all children, but particularly in Aboriginal children, one-third of whom suffer from moderate-severe hearing loss. In view of the frequently silent nature of OM, every opportunity must be taken to screen for OM. Measurement of TEOAEs at age 1–2 months to identify children at risk of developing OM should be evaluated in a routine health service setting.
doi:10.1186/1471-2431-8-32
PMCID: PMC2538518  PMID: 18755038
24.  Prevalence of insulin resistance and its association with metabolic syndrome criteria among Bolivian children and adolescents with obesity 
BMC Pediatrics  2008;8:31.
Background
Obesity is a one of the most common nutritional disorder worldwide, clearly associated with the metabolic syndrome, condition with implications for the development of many chronic diseases.
In the poorest countries of Latin America, malnourishment is still the most prevalent nutritional problem, but obesity is emerging in alarming rates over the last 10 years without a predictable association with metabolic syndrome.
The objective of our study was to determine the association between insulin-resistance and components of the metabolic syndrome in a group of Bolivian obese children and adolescents. The second objective was determining the relation of acanthosis nigricans and insulin-resistance.
Methods
We studied 61 obese children and adolescents aged between 5 and 18 years old. All children underwent an oral glucose tolerance test and fasting blood sample was also obtained to measure insulin, HDL, LDL and triglycerides serum level. The diagnosis of metabolic syndrome was defined according to National Cholesterol Education Program-Adult Treatment Panel (NCEP-ATP III) criteria adapted for children.
Results
Metabolic syndrome was found in 36% of the children, with a higher rate among males (40%) than females (32.2%) (p = 0.599). The prevalence of each of the components was 8.2% in impaired glucose tolerance, 42.6% for high triglyceride level, 55.7% for low levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and 24.5% for high blood pressure. Insulin resistance (HOMA-IR > 3.5) was found in 39.4% of the children, with a higher rate in males (50%) than females (29%). A strong correlation was found between insulin resistance and high blood pressure (p = 0.0148) and high triglycerides (p = 0.002). No statistical significance was found between the presence of acanthosis nigricans and insulin resistance.
Conclusion
Metabolic syndrome has a prevalence of 36% in children and adolescent population in the study. Insulin resistance was very common among children with obesity with a significant association with high blood pressure and high triglycerides presence.
doi:10.1186/1471-2431-8-31
PMCID: PMC2526992  PMID: 18700035
25.  A puzzle form of a non-verbal intelligence test gives significantly higher performance measures in children with severe intellectual disability 
BMC Pediatrics  2008;8:30.
Background
Assessment of 'potential intellectual ability' of children with severe intellectual disability (ID) is limited, as current tests designed for normal children do not maintain their interest. Thus a manual puzzle version of the Raven's Coloured Progressive Matrices (RCPM) was devised to appeal to the attentional and sensory preferences and language limitations of children with ID. It was hypothesized that performance on the book and manual puzzle forms would not differ for typically developing children but that children with ID would perform better on the puzzle form.
Methods
The first study assessed the validity of this puzzle form of the RCPM for 76 typically developing children in a test-retest crossover design, with a 3 week interval between tests. A second study tested performance and completion rate for the puzzle form compared to the book form in a sample of 164 children with ID.
Results
In the first study, no significant difference was found between performance on the puzzle and book forms in typically developing children, irrespective of the order of completion. The second study demonstrated a significantly higher performance and completion rate for the puzzle form compared to the book form in the ID population.
Conclusion
Similar performance on book and puzzle forms of the RCPM by typically developing children suggests that both forms measure the same construct. These findings suggest that the puzzle form does not require greater cognitive ability but demands sensory-motor attention and limits distraction in children with severe ID. Thus, we suggest the puzzle form of the RCPM is a more reliable measure of the non-verbal mentation of children with severe ID than the book form.
doi:10.1186/1471-2431-8-30
PMCID: PMC2528008  PMID: 18671882

Results 1-25 (54)