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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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