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Children with congenital heart disease (CHD) can face neurodevelopmental, psychological, and behavioural difficulties beginning in infancy and continuing through adulthood. Despite overall improvements in medical care and a growing focus on neurodevelopmental screening and evaluation in recent years, neurodevelopmental disabilities, delays, and deficits remain a concern. The Cardiac Neurodevelopmental Outcome Collaborative was founded in 2016 with the goal of improving neurodevelopmental outcomes for individuals with CHD and pediatric heart disease. This paper describes the establishment of a centralised clinical data registry to standardize data collection across member institutions of the Cardiac Neurodevelopmental Outcome Collaborative. The goal of this registry is to foster collaboration for large, multi-centre research and quality improvement initiatives that will benefit individuals and families with CHD and improve their quality of life. We describe the components of the registry, initial research projects proposed using data from the registry, and lessons learned in the development of the registry.
Over the last two decades, heart centres have developed strategies to meet the neurodevelopmental needs of children with congenital heart disease. Since the publication of guidelines in 2012, cardiac neurodevelopmental follow-up programmes have become more widespread. Local neurodevelopmental programmes, however, have been developed independently in widely varying environments. We sought to characterise variation in structure and personnel in cardiac neurodevelopmental programmes. A 31-item survey was sent to all member institutions of the Cardiac Neurodevelopmental Outcome Collaborative. Multidisciplinary teams at each centre completed the survey. Responses were compiled in a descriptive fashion. Of the 29 invited centres, 23 responded to the survey (79%). Centres reported more anticipated neurodevelopment visits between birth and 5 years of age (median 5, range 2–8) than 5–18 years (median 2, range 0–10) with 53% of centres lacking any standard for routine neurodevelopment evaluations after 5 years of age. Estimated annual neurodevelopment clinic volume ranged from 85 to 428 visits with a median of 16% of visits involving children >5 years of age. Among responding centres, the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development and Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence were the most routinely used tests. Neonatal clinical assessment was more common (64%) than routine neonatal brain imaging (23%) during hospitalisation. In response to clinical need and published guidelines, centres have established formal cardiac neurodevelopment follow-up programmes. Centres vary considerably in their approaches to routine screening and objective testing, with many centres currently focussing their resources on evaluating younger patients.
Background: Few data are available on the neuropsychological, behavioural, or structural brain imaging outcomes in adolescents who underwent corrective surgery in infancy for tetralogy of Fallot. Methods: In this single-centre cross-sectional study, we enrolled 91 adolescents (13–16 years old) with tetralogy of Fallot and 87 referent subjects. Assessments included tests of academic achievement, memory, executive functions, visual-spatial skills, attention, and social cognition, as well as brain magnetic resonance imaging. Results: Genetic abnormalities or syndromes were present in 25% of tetralogy of Fallot patients, who had markedly greater neuropsychological morbidities than did patients without a syndrome. However, even patients without a syndrome performed significantly worse than the referent group or population norms in all of the neuropsychological domains assessed. In multivariable regression in those without a genetic/phenotypic syndrome, the strongest predictors of adverse late neurodevelopmental outcomes included a greater number of complications at the first operation, more total surgical complications across all operations, and occurrence of post-operative seizures. The presence of at least one abnormality on structural magnetic resonance imaging was more frequent in tetralogy of Fallot patients than the referent group (42% versus 8%). Conclusions: Adolescents with tetralogy of Fallot are at increased neurodevelopmental risk and would benefit from ongoing surveillance and educational supports even after childhood.
Uncertainty exists regarding the degree to which infants with congenitally malformed hearts are at risk of behavioural disorders in childhood. Data was collected as part of a randomized clinical trial involving 155 children with surgically corrected transposition (concordant atrioventricular and ventriculo-arterial connections or alignments). As infants, they underwent the arterial switch operation, involving deep hypothermia with predominantly total circulatory arrest or predominantly low-flow continuous cardiopulmonary bypass as the method of providing support to the vital organs. Parents completed the Child Behavior Checklist when the patients were aged 4 and 8 years, and the Connors’ Parent Rating Scale at the age of 8 years. When the children were aged 8, teachers completed the Teacher’s Report Form and the Connors’ Teacher Rating Scale. In the cohort as a whole, the frequencies of behavioural problems identified by both parents and teachers were elevated, particularly on the scales for competence of the Child Behavior Checklist, and the Adaptive scales of the Teacher’s Report Form. Approximately 1 in 5 patients had scores for Total Problem Behavior in the range of clinical concern on both the Child Behavior Checklist and the Teacher’s Report Form. Few differences were found, however, according to the method of operative treatment. Postoperative seizures were associated with social and attention problems. Children experiencing academic problems at the age of 8 showed a larger increase in behavioural problems between the ages of 4 and 8 than did children making adequate academic progress. Children with congenitally malformed hearts who underwent reparative surgery in infancy using a strategy of severe haemodilution and alpha stat are at increased risk of behavioural problems in middle childhood.
The Explanatory Model Interview Catalogue (EMIC) has been developed to elicit illness-related perceptions, beliefs, and practices in a cultural study of leprosy and mental health in Bombay. Leprosy is an especially appropriate disorder for studying the inter-relationship of culture, mental health and medical illness because of deeply rooted cultural meanings, the emotional burden, and underuse of effective therapy. Fifty per cent of 56 recently diagnosed leprosy out-patients, 37% of 19 controls with another stigmatised dermatological condition (vitiligo), but only 8% of 12 controls with a comparable non-stigmatised condition (tinea versicolor) met DSM–III–R criteria for an axis I depressive, anxiety or somatoform disorder. Belief in a humoral (traditional) cause of illness predicted better attendance at clinic.
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