OBJECTIVE To measure the health related quality of life (QoL) following mitral valve replacement in childhood.
DESIGN Cross sectional study.
SETTING Tertiary referral centre.
METHODS 19 patients, median age (range) 14.4 (9.7–25.4) years, were studied at a median of 7.6 (0.5–11.2) years after their most recent mitral valve replacement. General health status was measured using age specific validated questionnaires. Ten children aged between 9–15 years completed the child health related quality of life questionnaire, and for nine older patients the UK version of the short form 36 was used. Specific questions were added to the existing questionnaires to study the effect of long term anticoagulation treatment.
RESULTS All patients in the younger age group reported impaired QoL. Five rated their QoL within the range of children with chronic physical disabilities, and in the remaining five it was worse. In the older age group, all but two patients perceived their QoL as normal or near normal compared with a reference population matched for sex and age. Having regular blood tests had a negative effect on QoL in three young children, and one older patient reported impaired QoL related to taking daily warfarin tablets.
CONCLUSIONS In this small group, the effect of mitral valve replacement on QoL appears to be age specific, with more impairment in younger children. Long term anticoagulation treatment is well tolerated in most patients.
- prosthetic mitral valve
- heart valve replacement
- quality of life
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