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J Neurol. 1976 Jun 14;212(3):225-36.

Brain changes in newborns, infants and children with congenital heart disease in association with cardiac surgery. Additional observations.


The histopathologic pattern in the Central Nervous System in 12 out of 21 new-borns and young infants, below 2 months of age, operated for various congenital heart defects, is that of recent necroses in the deep and subcortical white matter of the pallium, seen from a few hours to 8 days following completion of surgery. Type and location of these lesions of ischemic coagulative necrosis, resembling findings in the perinatal respiratory distress syndrome, seem to depend on shock-like states, the low output syndrome of the left heart with hypovolemia and hypotension. The cause of death in all these infants was cardio-respiratory failure. The question to what extent glial scars replacing necroses within the mostly non-myelinated fiber systems of the pallium will lead to defective maturation of the brain in later infancy and childhood remains a challenge for neurologic and psychological investigation, even if the heart defect has been successfully repaired by the surgeon. Post-mortem data of the CNS in 24 older infants and children below 9 years of age in association with cardia surgery include thrombembolic infarctions, also, after catheterization alone, diffuse or segmental cortical necroses, and cortical scars, especially in children older than 1 year, confirming data recently reported from this laboratory.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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