Neurologic Outcomes Following Care in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit

Curr Treat Options Pediatr. 2017 Sep;3(3):193-207. doi: 10.1007/s40746-017-0092-x. Epub 2017 Jul 26.


Purpose of review: With increasing survival of children requiring admission to pediatric intensive care units (PICU), neurodevelopmental outcomes of these patients are an area of increased attention. Our goal was to systematically review recently published literature on neurologic outcomes of PICU patients.

Recent findings: Decline in neurofunctional status occurs in 3%-20% of children requiring PICU care. This proportion varies based on primary diagnosis and severity of illness, with children admitted for primary neurologic diagnosis, children who suffer cardiac arrest or who require invasive interventions during the PICU admission, having worse outcomes. Recent research focuses on early identification and treatment of modifiable risk factors for unfavorable outcomes, and on long-term follow-up that moves beyond global cognitive outcomes and is increasingly including tests assessing multidimensional aspects of neurodevelopment.

Summary: The pediatric critical care research community has shifted focus from survival to survival with favorable neurologic outcomes of children admitted to the PICU.

Keywords: PICU; intensive care unit; neurocognitive outcomes; neurodevelopmental outcomes; neurologic outcomes; pediatrics.