Factors affecting short-term neurodevelopmental outcome in children operated on for major congenital anomalies

J Pediatr Surg. 2015 Jul;50(7):1125-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2014.12.015. Epub 2014 Dec 23.


Purpose: Identify clinical and socio-demographic risk-factors affecting short-term neurodevelopmental outcome (NDO) in children operated on for abdominal and thoracic congenital anomalies (CA).

Methods: Prospective cohort observational study on newborns operated on for non-cardiac major CA. Evaluations were conducted at 6 and 12 months of age. Univariate linear regression and multivariate regression were conducted to analyze the impact on NDO of clinical and sociodemographic variables. Infants were evaluated with the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development-3rd Edition.

Results: One-hundred-fifty-five children were enrolled. They were affected by the following anomalies: Esophageal Atresia (N=41), Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (N=42), Midgut Malformations (N=34), Abdominal Wall Defects (N=18), Colorectal Malformations (N=20). There were no statistically significant differences among the five groups of CA as to NDO. Variables which reached statistical significance at multivariate regression (p≤0.001) at 6 and 12 months as to cognitive and motor development were: ventilatory time, associated malformations, medical appliances for feeding, number of surgery and length of hospital stay.

Conclusions: On the average, children born with CA show a NDO within normal range. The identified risk-factors could prompt health care professionals to conduct a close surveillance on most vulnerable children giving them the best chance to reach their full potential.

Keywords: Neurodevelopmental outcome; Non-cardiac congenital malformations; Risk-factors.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Wall / abnormalities
  • Abnormalities, Multiple
  • Child Development / physiology*
  • Congenital Abnormalities / surgery*
  • Esophageal Atresia / surgery
  • Female
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / surgery
  • Hernias, Diaphragmatic, Congenital / surgery
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intestines / abnormalities
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors