Aim: To compare the developmental outcome of infants with oesophageal atresia with or without trachea-oesophageal fistula (OA/TOF) who underwent surgery in early infancy with healthy control infants in New South Wales, Australia.
Methods: Infants diagnosed with OA/TOF requiring surgical intervention were enrolled prospectively between 1 August 2006 and the 31 December 2008. Healthy control infants were enrolled in the same time period. The children underwent a developmental assessment at 1 year of age (corrected) using the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development (Version III).
Results: Of 34 infants with OA/TOF that were enrolled, 31 had developmental assessments. The majority (75%) were term infants (≥37 weeks gestation) with a mean birth weight of 2717 g. Fourteen infants (44%) had an associated birth defect and one infant with multiple associated anomalies subsequently died. Developmental assessments were also performed on 62 control infants matched for gestational age. Infants with OA/TOF had a mean score significantly lower on the expressive language subscale (P < 0.05) compared with the control infants.
Conclusions: This study found a lower than expected developmental score for infants following surgery for OA/TOF in the expressive language subscale compared with the healthy control infants. These findings support concerns over the potential impact of OA/TOF and its effects on development. Further studies, including continuing developmental review to determine whether these differences persist and their functional importance, should be performed.
© 2013 The Authors. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health © 2013 Paediatrics and Child Health Division (Royal Australasian College of Physicians).