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See detailLong-term outcome of speech and language in children after corrective surgery for cyanotic or acyanotic cardiac defects in infancy.
Hovels-Gurich, Hedwig H; Bauer, Sebastian B; Schnitker, Ralph et al

in European Journal of Paediatric Neurology : Official Journal of the European Paediatric Neurology Society (2008), 12(5), 378-386

The purpose of this prospective study was to assess whether outcome of speech and language in children 5-10 years after corrective surgery for tetralogy of Fallot (TOF) or ventricular septal defect (VSD ... [more ▼]

The purpose of this prospective study was to assess whether outcome of speech and language in children 5-10 years after corrective surgery for tetralogy of Fallot (TOF) or ventricular septal defect (VSD) in infancy was influenced by the preoperative condition of hypoxemia or cardiac insufficiency and whether it was associated with perioperative risk factors and neurodevelopmental outcome. A total of 35 unselected children, 19 with TOF and hypoxemia and 16 with VSD and cardiac insufficiency, operated with combined deep hypothermic circulatory arrest and low-flow cardiopulmonary bypass at mean age 0.7+/-0.3 (mean+/-standard deviation) years, underwent, at mean age 7.4+/-1.6 years, standardized evaluation of speech and language functions. Results were compared between subgroups and related to perioperative factors, sociodemographic and neurodevelopmental status. Age at testing, socioeconomic status and history of speech and language development were not different between the subgroups. In contrast, total scores on oral and speech motor control functions (TFS) as well as on oral and speech apraxia (Mayo Test) were significantly reduced (p<0.02 to <0.05), and scores on anatomical oral structures tended to be lower (p<0.09) in the TOF group as compared to the VSD group. No differences were found for auditory word recognition and phonological awareness as assessed by the Auditory Closure subtest of the Illinois Test of Psycholinguistic Abilities and the test of auditory analysis skills, respectively. In all children, higher age at testing and better socioeconomic status were associated with better results in all domains of assessment (p<0.001 to <0.04). Consistent impairments of all oral and speech motor control functions (TFS and Mayo Test) were present in 29% of all children with a mean age of 6.5 years in contrast to 43% with normal performance and a mean age of 8.3 years. On the receptive speech tasks, only 6% scored below the normal range of their age group. TFS subscores were significantly correlated with age, bypass duration and motor function, but not correlated with socioeconomic status, duration of cardiac arrest, intelligence and academic achievement. Children with preoperative hypoxemia due to cyanotic cardiac defects in infancy are at higher risk for dysfunction in speech and language than those with cardiac insufficiency due to acyanotic heart defects. Age at testing, socioeconomic status, and duration of cardiopulmonary bypass influenced test results. Long-term outcome in speech and language functions can be considered as a sensitive indicator of overall child development after cardiac surgery. [less ▲]

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See detailAttentional dysfunction in children after corrective cardiac surgery in infancy.
Hovels-Gurich, Hedwig H; Konrad, Kerstin; Skorzenski, Daniela et al

in Annals of Thoracic Surgery (2007), 83(4), 1425-1430

BACKGROUND: Attentional dysfunction in children after corrective cardiac surgery in infancy has rarely been evaluated and is the topic of the present work. METHODS: Forty unselected children, 20 with ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: Attentional dysfunction in children after corrective cardiac surgery in infancy has rarely been evaluated and is the topic of the present work. METHODS: Forty unselected children, 20 with tetralogy of Fallot and hypoxemia and 20 with ventricular septal defect and cardiac insufficiency, operated on at a mean age 0.7 (SD 0.3) years with deep hypothermic circulatory arrest and low flow cardiopulmonary bypass, were evaluated at mean age 7.4 (SD 1.6) years by the computerized form of the Attention Network Test providing performance measures of three networks of attention: alerting, orienting, and executive control. Parental ratings of attentional dysfunction were derived from the Child Behavior Checklist. Results were compared with healthy controls, between patient groups, and correlated with perioperative risk factors and current neurodevelopmental status. RESULTS: Executive control was reduced in the tetralogy of Fallot group, alerting and orienting were found normal and not different between patient groups. Durations of aortic cross clamping inversely correlated with orienting; durations of cardiopulmonary bypass correlated with mean reaction time and inversely correlated with executive control. Motor function and acquired abilities correlated with executive control and orienting. Parent-reported problems on the Child Behavior Checklist inversely correlated with executive control and mean accuracy. CONCLUSIONS: Children with preoperative hypoxemia in infancy due to cyanotic cardiac defects are at increased risk for attentional dysfunction in the field of executive control, compared with normal children and with those who have acyanotic heart defects. Besides unfavorable perioperative influences, preoperative hypoxemia is considered responsible for additional damage to the highly oxygen sensitive regions of the prefrontal cortex and striate body assumed to be associated with the executive control network of attention. [less ▲]

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See detailLong-term neurodevelopmental outcome and exercise capacity after corrective surgery for tetralogy of Fallot or ventricular septal defect in infancy.
Hovels-Gurich, Hedwig H; Konrad, Kerstin; Skorzenski, Daniela et al

in Annals of Thoracic Surgery (2006), 81(3), 958-66

BACKGROUND: The purpose of this prospective study was to assess whether neurodevelopmental status and exercise capacity of children 5 to 10 years after corrective surgery for tetralogy of Fallot or ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: The purpose of this prospective study was to assess whether neurodevelopmental status and exercise capacity of children 5 to 10 years after corrective surgery for tetralogy of Fallot or ventricular septal defect in infancy was different compared with normal children and influenced by the preoperative condition of hypoxemia or cardiac insufficiency. METHODS: Forty unselected children, 20 with tetralogy of Fallot and hypoxemia and 20 with ventricular septal defect and cardiac insufficiency, operated on with combined deep hypothermic circulatory arrest and low flow cardiopulmonary bypass at a mean age of 0.7 +/- 0.3 years (mean +/- SD), underwent, at mean age 7.4 +/- 1.6 years, standardized evaluation of neurologic status, gross motor function, intelligence, academic achievement, language, and exercise capacity. Results were compared between the groups and related to preoperative, perioperative, and postoperative status and management. RESULTS: Rate of mild neurologic dysfunction was increased compared with normal children, but not different between the groups. Exercise capacity and socioeconomic status were not different compared with normal children and between the groups. Compared with the normal population, motor function, formal intelligence, academic achievement, and expressive and receptive language were significantly reduced (p < 0.01 to p < 0.001) in the whole group and in the subgroups, except for normal intelligence in ventricular septal defect patients. Motor dysfunction was significantly higher in the Fallot group compared with the ventricular septal defect group (p < 0.01) and correlated with neurologic dysfunction, lower intelligence, and reduced expressive language (p < 0.05 each). Reduced New York Heart Association functional class was correlated with lower exercise capacity and longer duration of cardiopulmonary bypass (p < 0.05 each). Reduced socioeconomic status significantly influenced dysfunction in formal intelligence (p < 0.01) and academic achievement (p < 0.05). Preoperative risk factors such as prenatal hypoxia, perinatal asphyxia, and preterm birth, factors of perioperative management such as cardiac arrest, lowest nasopharyngeal temperature, and age at surgery, and postoperative risk factors as postoperative cardiocirculatory insufficiency and duration of mechanical ventilation were not different between the groups and had no influence on outcome. Degree of hypoxemia in Fallot patients and degree of cardiac insufficiency in ventricular septal defect patients did not influence the outcome within the subgroups. CONCLUSIONS: Children with preoperative hypoxemia in infancy are at higher risk for motor dysfunction than children with cardiac insufficiency. Corrective surgery in infancy for tetralogy of Fallot or ventricular septal defect with combined circulatory arrest and low flow bypass is associated with reduced neurodevelopmental outcome, but not with reduced exercise capacity in childhood. In our experience, the general risk of long-term neurodevelopmental impairment is related to unfavorable effects of the global perioperative management. Socioeconomic status influences cognitive capabilities. [less ▲]

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See detailPhysical activity patterns of children after neonatal arterial switch operation.
Massin, Martial M; Hovels-Gurich, Hedwig H; Gérard, Paul ULg et al

in Annals of Thoracic Surgery (2006), 81(2), 665-70

BACKGROUND: Physical inactivity is a major atherosclerosis risk factor. The exercise tolerance is usually excellent after neonatal arterial switch operation, but those patients in whom coronary anomalies ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: Physical inactivity is a major atherosclerosis risk factor. The exercise tolerance is usually excellent after neonatal arterial switch operation, but those patients in whom coronary anomalies remain the main late complication, risk developing atherosclerotic coronary disease owing to perceived physical activity restrictions. METHODS: We investigated physical activity patterns of 52 unselected children 7 to 14 years after neonatal arterial switch operation for transposition of the great arteries by 24-hour continuous heart rate monitoring. The percentage of heart rate reserve was used to measure the amounts of activities. Comparisons were made with 35 children with repaired atrial or ventricular septal defect and with 127 age-matched healthy children. RESULTS: Children after arterial switch operation accumulated 167.3 +/- 70.6, 25.3 +/- 12.9, and 15.7 +/- 11.3 minutes a day (mean +/- SD) of light, moderate, and vigorous physical activities, respectively. At the same activity levels, children with repaired septal defect accumulated 165.2 +/- 82.2, 26.2 +/- 11.7, and 16.2 +/- 9.1 minutes a day, and their healthy peers 164.8 +/- 74.5, 31.8 +/- 13.9, and 21.9 +/- 11.3 minutes a day. Both cardiac groups were significantly less active than the control group when considering moderate (p = 0.026) and vigorous activities (p = 0.006). Only 19% and 27% of the children after arterial switch operation engaged, respectively, in more than 30 minutes a day of moderate activity and 20 minutes a day of vigorous activity. CONCLUSIONS: Children after arterial switch operation, just like other cardiac children, do not meet the guidelines for physical activity. We should encourage regular physical activity to offset adult sedentary behavior and to prevent atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease in those patients whose long-term function of the coronary arteries remains a matter of concern. [less ▲]

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See detailLong-term results of cardiac and general health status in children after neonatal arterial switch operation.
Hovels-Gurich, Hedwig H; SEGHAYE, Marie-Christine ULg; Ma, Qing et al

in Annals of Thoracic Surgery (2003), 75(3), 935-43

BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study was to assess cardiac and general health status 8 to 14 years after neonatal arterial switch operation for transposition of the great arteries. METHODS: Sixty ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study was to assess cardiac and general health status 8 to 14 years after neonatal arterial switch operation for transposition of the great arteries. METHODS: Sixty unselected children with intact ventricular septum (78.3%) or ventricular septal defect (21.7%) without or with aortic isthmic stenosis (5.1%) were examined 10.5 +/- 1.6 (mean +/- SD) years after neonatal switch and 5.3 +/- 1.6 years after mid-term evaluation. Complete clinical examination, standard and 24-hour Holter electrocardiogram, M-mode, 2D-, Doppler, and color Doppler echocardiography were performed. Results were compared with normal values and to mid-term follow-up results. RESULTS: Rates of reoperation after arterial switch operation and operation to correct concomitant coarctation were 3.3% and 5.1%, respectively. No patient needed medication, and 93.3% had no limitation of physical activity. All children had normal height and weight; 31.6% had abnormal thoracic configuration after median sternotomy. Most patients (91.7%) were in sinus rhythm. Incidence of complete right bundle branch block (10.0%) was unchanged, as was prevalence of ectopic activity (occasional atrial ectopy 20.0%, ventricular ectopy: occasional 21.7%; frequent 1.7%). Left ventricular dimensions and shortening fraction did not change over time. Diameters of neo-aortic valve annulus and neo-aortic root did not increase, and z-scores decreased between mid-term and present evaluation. Incidence of neo-aortic insufficiency was 13.3% and remained unchanged in comparison with the pre-examination value. Neo-aortic stenosis was not seen. Compared with mid-term follow-up, incidence (41.6%) and degree of supravalvular pulmonary stenosis increased. CONCLUSIONS: Good cardiac results persist 10 years after neonatal arterial switch operation for transposition of the great arteries. Encouraging findings include preservation of left ventricular function, low incidence of rhythm disturbances, lack of further neo-aortic root dilatation, and unchanged incidence of neo-aortic insufficiency compared with mid-term follow-up. Increased incidence and degree of supravalvular pulmonary stenosis are of concern. [less ▲]

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See detailProduction of proinflammatory cytokines and myocardial dysfunction after arterial switch operation in neonates with transposition of the great arteries.
Hovels-Gurich, Hedwig H; Vazquez-Jimenez, Jaime F; Silvestri, Anna et al

in Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery (The) (2002), 124(4), 811-20

OBJECTIVE: Neonates undergoing cardiac surgery have a systemic inflammatory reaction with release of proinflammatory cytokines, which could be responsible for myocardial dysfunction as a result of ... [more ▼]

OBJECTIVE: Neonates undergoing cardiac surgery have a systemic inflammatory reaction with release of proinflammatory cytokines, which could be responsible for myocardial dysfunction as a result of myocardial cell damage. The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that the production of proinflammatory cytokines during cardiac surgery would be associated with myocardial dysfunction after the arterial switch operation in neonates. METHODS: A total of 63 neonates with transposition of the great arteries were operated on with combined deep hypothermic circulatory arrest and low-flow cardiopulmonary bypass at a median age of 7 days. Perioperative plasma concentrations of interleukins 6 and 8 were correlated with myocardial dysfunction, as assessed clinically and by echocardiography within 24 hours after the operation, and with perioperative cardiac troponin T blood levels as a marker of myocardial cell damage. RESULTS: Myocardial dysfunction was observed in 11 patients (17.5%), and 2 of them died. Durations of cardiopulmonary bypass and aortic crossclamping, but not of circulatory arrest, were correlated with myocardial dysfunction. Patients with myocardial dysfunction had significantly higher cardiac troponin T blood levels at the end of cardiopulmonary bypass and 4 and 24 hours after the operation than did patients without myocardial dysfunction. Patients with myocardial dysfunction also had higher interleukin 6 plasma concentrations after cardiopulmonary bypass and 4 hours after the operation, as well as higher interleukin 8 plasma concentrations 4 and 24 hours after the operation, than did those without myocardial dysfunction. Postoperative interleukin 6 and 8 plasma concentrations were significantly correlated with postoperative cardiac troponin T blood levels. Multivariable analysis of independent risk factors for myocardial dysfunction comprising cytokine and troponin levels and bypass duration revealed interleukin 6 levels 4 hours after the operation as significant (P =.047). CONCLUSIONS: Cardiac operations in neonates stimulate the production of proinflammatory cytokines, which may contribute to myocardial cell damage and myocardial dysfunction. [less ▲]

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See detailLong-term neurodevelopmental outcomes in school-aged children after neonatal arterial switch operation.
Hovels-Gurich, Hedwig H; SEGHAYE, Marie-Christine ULg; Schnitker, Ralph et al

in Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery (The) (2002), 124(3), 448-58

OBJECTIVE: Neurodevelopmental status of children between 8 and 14 years of age after neonatal arterial switch operation for transposition of the great arteries has not previously been systematically ... [more ▼]

OBJECTIVE: Neurodevelopmental status of children between 8 and 14 years of age after neonatal arterial switch operation for transposition of the great arteries has not previously been systematically evaluated. METHODS: Within a longitudinal study, 60 unselected children operated on as neonates with combined deep hypothermic circulatory arrest and low-flow cardiopulmonary bypass were reevaluated at the age of 7.9 to 14.3 years (mean +/- SD 10.5 +/- 1.6 years). Clinical neurologic status and standardized tests to assess gross motor function, intelligence, acquired abilities, language, and speech were carried out, and the results were related to preoperative, perioperative, and postoperative status, to management, and to neurodevelopmental status at a mean age of 5.4 years. RESULTS: Neurologic and speech impairments were evidently more frequent (27% and 40%, respectively) than in the general population. Intelligence and socioeconomic status were not different (P =.29 and P =.11), whereas motor function, acquired abilities, and language were reduced (P < or =.04 for each). Overall rate of developmental impairment in one or more domains was 55%, compared with 26% at age 5.4 years. Multivariable analysis showed that severe preoperative acidosis and hypoxia predicted reduced motor function (mean deficit 52.7 points, P <.001), whereas longer bypass duration predicted both neurologic (odds ratio per 10 minutes of bypass duration 1.8, P =.04) and speech (odds ratio per 10 minutes of bypass duration 1.9, P =.02) dysfunction, and perioperative and postoperative cardiocirculatory insufficiency predicted neurologic (odds ratio 6.5, P =.04) and motor (mean deficit 6.8 points, P =.03) dysfunction. CONCLUSIONS: The neonatal arterial switch operation with combined circulatory arrest and low-flow bypass is associated increasingly with age, with reduced neurodevelopmental outcome but not with cognitive dysfunction. In our experience, the risk of long-term neurodevelopmental impairment after neonatal corrective cardiac surgery is related to deleterious effects of the global perioperative management and to special adverse effects of prolonged bypass duration. Severe preoperative acidosis and hypoxia and postoperative hemodynamic instability must be considered as important additional risk factors. [less ▲]

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See detailCytokine balance in infants undergoing cardiac operation.
Hovels-Gurich, Hedwig H; Schumacher, Kathrin; Vazquez-Jimenez, Jaime F et al

in Annals of Thoracic Surgery (2002), 73(2), 601-8608-9

BACKGROUND: The control of the systemic inflammatory response taking place during cardiac operations depends on adequate antiinflammatory reaction. In this prospective study we tested the hypothesis that ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: The control of the systemic inflammatory response taking place during cardiac operations depends on adequate antiinflammatory reaction. In this prospective study we tested the hypothesis that cytokine balance during pediatric cardiac surgical procedures would be influenced by the patients' preoperative clinical condition, defined as hypoxemia or heart failure. METHODS: Twenty infants (median age, 8 months) with hypoxemia owing to intracardiac right-to-left shunt (group 1, n = 10) or with heart failure because of intracardiac left-to-right shunt (group 2, n = 10), scheduled for elective primary corrective operation, were enrolled. Plasma levels of the proinflammatory cytokine interleukin (IL) 6, the natural antiinflammatory cytokine IL-10, and the markers of the acute-phase response, C-reactive protein and procalcitonin, were sequentially measured before, during, and after cardiac operation up to the 10th postoperative day. The ratio of IL-10 to IL-6 levels served as a marker for the individual's antiinflammatory cytokine balance. RESULTS: Group 1 showed higher preoperative IL-6 (p < 0.001), lower IL-10 levels (p < 0.02), and lower ratio of IL-10 to IL-6 levels (p < 0.001) than group 2. Preoperative C-reactive protein and procalcitonin were not detectable. In group 1, preoperative IL-6 levels inversely correlated with preoperative oxygen saturation (Spearman correlation coefficient, -0.74, p < 0.02). During cardiopulmonary bypass, IL-6 levels were higher, whereas IL-10 and ratio of IL-10 to IL-6 levels were lower in group 1 than in group 2. In all patients, postoperative IL-6 levels were positively correlated with duration of inotropic support and serum creatinine value and inversely correlated with oxygenation index and diuresis. CONCLUSIONS: Infants with hypoxemia show a preoperative inflammatory state with low antiinflammatory cytokine balance in contrast to those with heart failure. This in turn is associated with lower perioperative antiinflammatory cytokine balance and might contribute to postoperative morbidity. [less ▲]

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