Surgical gastrointestinal anomalies including diaphragmatic hernia: Does type of anomaly affect neurodevelopmental outcome?

Am J Perinatol. 2014 Mar;31(3):175-80. doi: 10.1055/s-0033-1343773. Epub 2013 Apr 24.


Objective: To describe short-term neurodevelopmental outcome of infants operated on for congenital anomalies (CA) and assess the impact of type of CA on the outcome.

Study design: From 2008 to 2010 newborns operated on for CA were enrolled in a cross-sectional follow-up study including three distinct groups: infants of 6 months (group A), infants of 12 months (group B), and children of 24 months (group C). Each group was divided into five subgroups: (1) esophageal atresia; (2) congenital diaphragmatic hernia; (3) midgut malformations; (4) abdominal wall defects; (5) colorectal malformations. Each group of patients underwent a neurodevelopmental evaluation with Bayley III.

Results: In all, 150, 156, and 84 babies were enrolled in groups A, B, and C, respectively. Mean (standard deviation) Mental Scale score was 94.65 (8.75), 98.76 (11.03), and 100.60 (12.04) in groups A, B, and C. Mean (standard deviation) Motor Scale score was 96.89 (11.62), 99.23 (14.83), and 103.60 (12.90) in groups A, B, and C. No significant differences were found among the five subgroups considered.

Conclusion: Regardless of type of malformation, short-term neurodevelopmental outcome of children with gastrointestinal anomalies including diaphragmatic hernia falls within normal range, suggesting that neither being born with a CA nor its type is per se a risk factor for neurodevelopmental delay.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Developmental Disabilities / etiology*
  • Digestive System Abnormalities / complications*
  • Digestive System Abnormalities / surgery
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hernia, Diaphragmatic / complications
  • Hernia, Diaphragmatic / surgery
  • Hernias, Diaphragmatic, Congenital*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intellectual Disability / etiology
  • Male
  • Risk Factors