Prevalence of congenital heart defects in neuroblastoma patients: A cohort study and systematic review of literature

Klaartje Van Engelen*, Johannes H.M. Merks, Jan Lam, Leontien C.M. Kremer, Manouk Backes, Marieke J.H. Baars, Heleen J.H. Van Der Pal, Alex V. Postma, Rogier Versteeg, Huib N. Caron, Barbara J.M. Mulder

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Data on the prevalence of congenital heart defects (CHD) in neuroblastoma patients are inconsistent. If CHD are more common in neuroblastoma patients than in the general population, cardiac screening might be warranted. In this study we used echocardiography to determine the prevalence of CHD in a single centre cohort of surviving neuroblastoma patients. In addition, we performed a systematic review of the literature. Echocardiography was performed in 119 of 133 patients (89.5%). Only two patients (1.7%) had CHD. The prevalence of CHD was not significantly different from a previously published control group of 192 leukaemia patients examined by echocardiography (P=0.49). Literature search revealed 17 studies, showing prevalence rates of CHD in neuroblastoma patients ranging from 0 to 20%. Prevalence was less than 3.6% in the majority of studies. Most studies lacked information on validity. We conclude that current evidence does not support standard cardiac screening in all patients with neuroblastoma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1081-1090
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Pediatrics
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 20 Mar 2009

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