The prevalence of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder following neonatal aortic arch repair

Cardiol Young. 2015 Apr;25(4):663-9. doi: 10.1017/S1047951114000547. Epub 2014 Apr 28.


Objective: We sought to determine the prevalence of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in a population of children who underwent neonatal heart surgery involving repair of the aortic arch for Norwood Stage I, interrupted aortic arch, and combined repair of aortic coarctation with ventricular septal defect.

Methods: Children between the ages of 5 and 16 were surveyed using the ADHD-IV and the Child Heath Questionnaire-50. Classification as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder was defined for this study as either a parent-reported diagnosis of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder or ADHD-IV inattention score of ⩾93 percentile.

Results: Of the 134 surveys, 57 (43%) were returned completed. A total of 25 (44%) children either had a diagnosis of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and/or ADHD-IV inattention score ⩾93 percentile. Eleven of the 13 (85%) children with interrupted aortic arch, 3 of the 7 (42.9%) children with combined coarctation/ventricular septal defect repair, and 9 of the 33 (27.3%) children with hypoplastic left-heart syndrome were classified as having attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Only 7 of the 25 (28%) children received medical treatment for this condition. Quality of life indicators in the Child Heath Questionnaire-50 Questionnaire were highly correlated with the ADHD-IV scores.

Conclusion: The risks for the development of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder are multifactorial but are significantly increased in this post-surgical population. This study revealed a low treatment rate for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and a significant impact on the quality of life in these children.

Keywords: neonatal cardiac surgery.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Aorta, Thoracic / surgery
  • Aortic Diseases / complications*
  • Aortic Diseases / surgery
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / complications*
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / diagnosis
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / epidemiology*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome / complications*
  • Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome / surgery
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Norwood Procedures
  • Parents
  • Prevalence
  • Quality of Life
  • Risk Factors
  • South Carolina / epidemiology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires