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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.
A problem facing doctors treating adults with congenitally malformed hearts is that a significant number of these patients are lost for follow-up. The purpose of our study is to describe the medical history and clinical findings in a group of such adults that was lost for follow-up.
Design, settings and patients
The Danish press ran a front-page story about adults with congenitally malformed hearts who were lost for follow-up. These patients were strongly advised to contact a center for congenital cardiac disease, and we examined all responding patients within four-weeks.
We carried out a structured interview, a clinical examination, echocardiography, and measured levels of N-terminal pro brain natriuretic peptide.
The number of responders was 147. Based on the diagnosis and the findings, further follow-up was scheduled for 52 (35.4%), either because of significant residual lesions, found in 32, or the risk of late complications, judged to be present in 20. Symptoms were present in 36.5% of patients scheduled for follow-up. The presence of a heart murmur was highly predictive of the need for further follow-up but the sensitivity was too low to recommend the use of auscultation as a screening test.
A large proportion of adults with congenitally malformed hearts who are lost for follow-up require regular assessment according to a modern standard. Symptoms, signs, and measurement of natriuretic peptide cannot replace full cardiological assessment. It is a challenge for centres treating adults with congenital heart disease to find the lost group of patient with significant cardiac malformations.
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