Background: The goal of this statement was to review the available literature on surveillance, screening, evaluation, and management strategies and put forward a scientific statement that would comprehensively review the literature and create recommendations to optimize neurodevelopmental outcome in the pediatric congenital heart disease (CHD) population.
Methods and results: A writing group appointed by the American Heart Association and American Academy of Pediatrics reviewed the available literature addressing developmental disorder and disability and developmental delay in the CHD population, with specific attention given to surveillance, screening, evaluation, and management strategies. MEDLINE and Google Scholar database searches from 1966 to 2011 were performed for English-language articles cross-referencing CHD with pertinent search terms. The reference lists of identified articles were also searched. The American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association classification of recommendations and levels of evidence for practice guidelines were used. A management algorithm was devised that stratified children with CHD on the basis of established risk factors. For those deemed to be at high risk for developmental disorder or disabilities or for developmental delay, formal, periodic developmental and medical evaluations are recommended. A CHD algorithm for surveillance, screening, evaluation, reevaluation, and management of developmental disorder or disability has been constructed to serve as a supplement to the 2006 American Academy of Pediatrics statement on developmental surveillance and screening. The proposed algorithm is designed to be carried out within the context of the medical home. This scientific statement is meant for medical providers within the medical home who care for patients with CHD.
Conclusions: Children with CHD are at increased risk of developmental disorder or disabilities or developmental delay. Periodic developmental surveillance, screening, evaluation, and reevaluation throughout childhood may enhance identification of significant deficits, allowing for appropriate therapies and education to enhance later academic, behavioral, psychosocial, and adaptive functioning.