PMID: 2305748Mar 1, 1990Paper

Neurologic sequelae of open-heart surgery in children. An 'irritating question'

American Journal of Diseases of Children
P C Ferry

Abstract

As pediatric cardiac surgical techniques have improved in recent years, mortality rates have dropped and attention has turned to residual morbidity, especially neurologic sequelae. Although the majority of children undergoing open-heart surgery for correction of congenital heart defects apparently emerge with no adverse consequences, a small percentage suffer permanent neurologic injury (seizures, motor disorders). Another small and not well-defined population may be left with disorders of higher cortical function, such as mental retardation or learning disabilities. A survey of six major pediatric cardiac surgery units in North America was undertaken in 1988-1989 to ascertain current approaches to the detection and management of neurologic sequelae of pediatric open-heart surgery. All units reported seeing a small but definite incidence of postoperative neurologic symptoms, including alterations of consciousness, seizures, and localized abnormalities such as hemiparesis or delayed choreoathetoid syndromes. Postoperative neuroimaging procedures have shown a disturbing incidence of hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, unsuspected cerebral atrophy, and subdural hematomas. Pathogenesis may include factors related to preoperative brain...Continue Reading

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