Neurodevelopmental Profiles of Children with Congenital Heart Disease at School Age

J Pediatr. 2017 Sep;188:75-81. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2017.05.073. Epub 2017 Jul 11.


Objectives: To assess 6-year neurodevelopmental outcomes in a current cohort of children with congenital heart disease (CHD) who underwent cardiopulmonary bypass surgery (CPB), and to determine risk factors for adverse outcomes.

Study design: Outcomes were examined in 233 prospectively enrolled children with CHD (including 64 with a recognized genetic disorder) who underwent CPB between 2004 and 2009. Follow-up assessment included standardized neurologic, motor, and cognitive tests. Variables were collected prospectively, and multiple regression analysis was performed to determine independent risk factors for adverse outcome.

Results: The mean patient age at assessment was 6.3 years (range, 5.1-6.8 years). IQ was lower in children with a genetic disorder (median, 55; range, 17-115) compared with children without a genetic disorder (median, 95; range, 47-135; P < .001). Cognitive and motor performance also were lower in children without a genetic disorder compared with the norm (P < .01 for both). The prevalence of children without a genetic disorder performing below -2 SD (IQ 70) was higher than the norm (5.3% vs 2.3%; P = .008), and the prevalence of poor motor performance (<10th percentile) ranged from 21.2% to 41.1% (P < .01 for all). Significant independent risk factors for poor neurodevelopmental outcome included a genetic disorder, longer length of intensive care stay, lower birth weight, postoperative seizures, and lower socioeconomic status.

Conclusions: Current cohorts of children with CHD undergoing CPB show favorable outcomes but remain at risk for long-term neurodevelopmental impairments, particularly those with a genetic disorder and a complicated postoperative course. Close neurodevelopmental surveillance is necessary to provide early therapeutic support.

Keywords: cardiopulmonary bypass; cognition; genetic disorder; motor performance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cardiopulmonary Bypass / adverse effects*
  • Cardiopulmonary Bypass / methods
  • Child
  • Child Development
  • Developmental Disabilities / epidemiology
  • Developmental Disabilities / etiology*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Schools