Long-term neurodevelopmental effects of intraoperative blood pressure during surgical closure of a septal defect in infancy or early childhood

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BACKGROUND: Many children born with congenital heart defects are faced with cognitive deficits and psychological challenges later in life. The mechanisms behind are suggested to be multifactorial and are explained as an interplay between innate and modifiable risk factors. The aim was to assess whether there is a relationship between mean arterial pressure during surgery of a septal defect in infancy or early childhood and intelligence quotient scores in adulthood.

METHODS: In a retrospective study, patients were included if they underwent surgical closure of a ventricular septal defect or an atrial septal defect in childhood between 1988 and 2002. Every patient completed an intelligence assessment upon inclusion, 14-27 years after surgery, using the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale Version IV.

RESULTS: A total of 58 patients met the eligibility criteria and were included in the analyses. No statistically significant correlation was found between blood pressure during cardiopulmonary bypass and intelligence quotient scores in adulthood (r = 0.138; 95% CI-0.133-0.389). Although amongst patients with mean arterial pressure < 40 mmHg during cardiopulmonary bypass, intelligence quotient scores were significantly lower (91.4; 95% CI 86.9-95.9) compared to those with mean arterial pressure > 40 mmHg (99.8; 95% CI 94.7-104.9).

CONCLUSIONS: Mean arterial pressure during surgery of ventricular septal defects or atrial septal defects in childhood does not correlate linearly with intelligence quotient scores in adulthood. Although there may exist a specific cut-off value at which low blood pressure becomes harmful. Larger studies are warranted in order to confirm this, as it holds the potential of partly relieving CHD patients of their cognitive deficits.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCardiology in the Young
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
ISSN1047-9511
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Apr 2021

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