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Children with complex CHD are at risk for psychopathology such as severe attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder symptoms after congenital heart surgery.
The aim of this study was to investigate if children with Ventricular Septal Defect, Transposition of Great Arteries, or Tetralogy of Fallot have an increased occurrence of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder symptoms compared with the background population and to investigate differences between the three CHDs in terms of occurrence and appearance of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder symptoms.
A national register-based survey was conducted, including children aged 10–16 years with surgically corrected CHDs without genetic abnormalities and syndromes. The Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder-Rating Scale questionnaires were filled in by parents and school teachers.
In total, 159 out of 283 questionnaires were completed among children with CHDs and compared with age- and sex-matched controls. Children with CHDs had significantly increased inattention scores (p = 0.009) and total attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder scores (p = 0.008) compared with controls. Post hoc analyses revealed that children with Tetralogy of Fallot had significantly higher inattention scores compared with children both with Ventricular Septal Defect (p = 0.043) and controls (p = 0.004).
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder symptoms and inattention symptoms were significantly more frequent among children aged 10–16 years with CHDs, in particular in children with corrected Tetralogy of Fallot.
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