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Circulation. 1999 Aug 3;100(5):526-32.

Developmental and neurological status of children at 4 years of age after heart surgery with hypothermic circulatory arrest or low-flow cardiopulmonary bypass.

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  • 1Departments of Neurology, Medicine, Anesthesia, Cardiology and Cardiovascular Surgery, Children's Hospital, Boston, MA 02115, USA.



It is not known whether developmental and neurological outcomes in the preschool period differ depending on whether the predominant vital organ support strategy used in infant heart surgery was total circulatory arrest (CA) or low-flow cardiopulmonary bypass.


Infants with D-transposition of the great arteries who underwent an arterial-switch operation were randomly assigned to a support method consisting predominantly of CA or low-flow cardiopulmonary bypass. Developmental and neurological status were evaluated blindly at 4 years of age in 158 of 163 eligible children (97%). Neither IQ scores nor overall neurological status were significantly associated with either treatment group or duration of CA. The CA group scored lower on tests of motor function (gross motor, P=0.01; fine motor, P=0.03) and had more severe speech abnormalities (oromotor apraxia, P=0.007). Seizures in the perioperative period, detected either clinically or by continuous electroencephalographic monitoring, were associated with lower mean IQ scores (12.6 and 7.7 points, respectively) and increased risk of neurological abnormalities (odds ratios, 8.4 and 5.6, respectively). The performance of the full cohort was below expectations in several domains, including IQ, expressive language, visual-motor integration, motor function, and oromotor control.


Use of CA to support vital organs during open heart surgery in infancy is associated, at the age of 4 years, with worse motor coordination and planning but not with lower IQ or with worse overall neurological status.

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