Children and Adolescents with Congenital Heart Disease: Neurodevelopmental Outcomes and Predictors
(4/13/2011) 73 minutes


The survival rate of children with congenital heart disease, the most common structural birth defect, has increased dramatically in recent decades. Concerns have been raised, however, about the later neurodevelopment of these children. Although intelligence is generally not impaired, they are at increased risk of impairments in speech (oromotor coordination) and language (pragmatics), visual-spatial skills, executive functions (planning, organization), social cognition (affect recognition), attention, motor skills, and psychosocial adjustment. Experimental studies evaluating the neurodevelopmental outcomes associated with different intra-operative management strategies have generally been disappointing, identifying few modifiable factors that improve patient outcomes. Instead, factors such as genotype (e.g., 22q11 microdeletions) and general medical morbidity (e.g., post-operative seizures) appear to be more important determinants of later neurodevelopment.

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