Long-Term Neurodevelopmental Outcomes in Children and Adolescents With Congenital Heart Disease

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Background: Effective medical and surgical management of pediatric congenital heart disease (CHD) to reduce long-term adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes is an important clinical objective in primary and specialty health care. We identify clinical predictors associated with an increased risk of 6 long-term neurodevelopmental outcomes in children with CHD compared to the general pediatric Medicaid population.

Method: South Carolina’s retrospective, 15-year Medicaid data set (January 1, 1996–December 31, 2010) for 19,947 patients aged 17 years diagnosed with 1 CHD lesions (on the basis of International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification codes) were compared to 19,948 patients without CHD matched on age at entry into and duration in Medicaid using logistic and Cox proportional hazards regression.

Results: The CHD cohort was significantly less likely to have incident neurologic or psychiatric disorders, mental retardation, developmental delays, or inattention/hyperactivity (adjusted odds ratios [ORs] = 0.34, 0.56, 0.03, 0.01, 0.004, respectively) but was more likely to have incident seizures (OR = 2.00) compared to controls. Exposure to both cardiac and noncardiac surgical intervention was associated with a significantly increased risk of developing neurologic or psychiatric disorders, mental retardation, developmental delays, or inattention/hyperactivity (cardiac ORs = 1.66, 2.00, 1.67, 1.43, 1.76, respectively) (noncardiac ORs = 2.25, 1.59, 1.48, 1.29, 1.36, 2.46, respectively). Any documented hypoxemia was associated with a significantly increased risk of developing 5 of the neurodevelopmental conditions (neurologic OR = 4.52, psychiatric OR = 1.60, mental retardation OR = 2.90, developmental delay OR = 2.12, seizures OR = 4.23).

Conclusion: Practitioners should maintain vigilant surveillance of all CHD patients, especially those exposed to surgical procedures or experiencing hypoxemia, to identify any neurodevelopmental issues early and address them promptly.

Prim Care Companion CNS Disord 2015;17(5):doi:10.4088/PCC.15m01842

https://doi.org/10.4088/PCC.15m01842