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Acta Paediatr. 2005 Nov;94(11):1597-603.

Preoperative cranial ultrasound findings in infants with major congenital heart disease.

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Division of Neonatology, Leiden University Medical Centre, Leiden, the Netherlands.



Advances in diagnostic testing and surgical techniques have resulted in reduced mortality in neonates with congenital heart disease (CHD) and a major concern for neurological morbidity in the presence of preoperative neurological injury.


To determine the incidence and nature of preoperative cerebral ultrasound abnormalities in neonates with major CHD and to examine the relationship between cerebral abnormalities and the type of CHD.


Retrospective study; inclusion criteria: (1) neonates with major CHD admitted to the NICU over a 3-y period, (2) gestational age >35 wk, (3) documented preoperative cranial ultrasound available; exclusion criteria: (1) small for gestational age, (2) other congenital anomalies and/or chromosomal abnormalities, (3) a 5-min Apgar score <7, (4) congenital infection. Cranial ultrasounds (CUS) were reviewed without knowledge of the cardiac defect. CHDs were categorized.


Fifty of 108 neonates with CHD met the inclusion criteria. Twenty-one patients (42%) had abnormalities on CUS. Thirteen of these (26%) had widened ventricular and/or subarachnoid spaces, three (6%) lenticulostriate vasculopathy, one (2%) calcification in the basal nuclei, and four (8%) had acute ischaemic changes. Cerebral abnormalities occurred more frequently in patients with coarctation or hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) than transposition of the great arteries (TGA) (63% vs 14%; n.s.).


There is a high incidence of preoperative cerebral ultrasound abnormalities in this group of neonates with major CHD.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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