Despite increasing survival, patients with hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) and other forms of functionally univentricular heart defects (UVHs) remain at increased risk of long-term neurodevelopmental deficits.
A nationwide sample of 23 patients with HLHS, 13 with UVH, and 40 controls were followed prospectively until the age of 5 years, when neurologic, neuropsychological, and motor examinations and brain MRI were performed.
The median full-scale IQ was significantly lower in patients with HLHS (97, P < .001) and patients with UVH (112, P = .024) compared with controls (121). Major neurodevelopmental impairment was found in 26% of the patients with HLHS and 23% of those with UVH, and minor neurologic dysfunction was found in 43% and 46%, respectively. MRI revealed abnormalities, mostly ischemic changes of different degrees, in 82% of the patients with HLHS and in 56% of those with UVH. Prominent changes were significantly associated with neurodevelopmental findings and parental reports of adaptive behavior. In linear regression, significant risk factors for a worse outcome were a history of clinical seizures in connection with the primary operation, a lower diameter of the neonatal ascending aorta, and several pre-, peri-, and postoperative factors related to the primary and bidirectional Glenn operations.
Although median cognitive performance was within the normal range, neurodevelopmental and brain MRI abnormalities were found in the majority of the patients with UVH, and especially in those with HLHS, at preschool age. Both a narrowed ascending aorta and operation-related factors contributed to these findings.
"From a neuropsychological viewpoint, UVH patients are doing relatively well when compared with healthy controls. Full estimated IQ scores were found to be in normal ranges for the majority of the UVH patients, corroborating previous findings    , but contradicting other results . In the latter study, the UVH cohort had a "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Children with congenital heart disease (CHD) have multiple factors contributing toward their risk of later neurodevelopmental difficulties. With earlier diagnosis and improved survival rates, the management of CHD now includes the recognition of neurodevelopmental risks and optimisation of neurodevelopmental outcomes is emphasised. Neuroimaging studies have shown early differences in brain development for children with CHD, who then are vulnerable to additional brain injury in the perinatal period. For some children, complications and co-morbidities may further increase the risk of brain injury. Synthesis of multiple factors is necessary to estimate neurodevelopmental prognosis for an individual child. Long-term neurodevelopmental follow-up of children with CHD is warranted for early identification of and intervention for difficulties.
Seminars in Fetal and Neonatal Medicine 05/2013; 18(5). DOI:10.1016/j.siny.2013.04.006 · 3.03 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Children with early surgery for congenital heart disease (CHD) are known to have impaired neurodevelopment; their performance on school-age achievement tests and their need for special education remains largely unexplored. The study aimed to determine predictors of academic achievement at school age and placement in special education services among early CHD surgery survivors. Children with CHD surgery at <1 year of age from January 1, 1998 to December 31, 2003, at the Arkansas Children's Hospital were identified. Out-of-state births and infants with known genetic and/or neurologic conditions were excluded. Infants were matched to an Arkansas Department of Education database containing standardized assessments at early school age and special-education codes. Predictors for achieving proficiency in literacy and mathematics and the receipt of special education were determined. Two hundred fifty-six children who attended Arkansas public schools and who had surgery as infants were included; 77.7 % had either school-age achievement-test scores or special-education codes of mental retardation or multiple disabilities. Scores on achievement tests for these children were 7-13 % lower than those of Arkansas students (p < 0.01). They had an eightfold increase in receipt of special education due to multiple disabilities [odds ratio (OR) 10.66, 95 % confidence interval (CI) 4.23-22.35] or mental retardation (OR 4.96, 95 % CI 2.6-8.64). Surgery after the neonatal period was associated with decreased literacy proficiency, and cardiopulmonary bypass during the first surgery was associated with decreased mathematics proficiency. Children who had early CHD surgery were less proficient on standardized school assessments, and many received special education. This is concerning because achievement-test scores at school age are "real-world" predictors of long-term outcomes.
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