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Pediatric Cardiac Surgery and Neuro-developmental Outcomes | Dr. Quartermain

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Pediatric Cardiac Surgery and Neuro-developmental Outcomes

Michael Quartermain, MD, discusses his study of patients before and after pediatric cardiac surgery. Memory, motor, attention and behavior were tested with favorable results.

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Michael Quartermain, MD, discusses his study of patients before and after pediatric cardiac surgery. Memory, motor, attention and behavior were tested with favorable results.

Transcript: Pediatric Cardiac Surgery and Neuro-developmental Outcomes


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Michael Quartermain, MD: Hi, my name is Michael Quartermain. I'm a pediatric cardiologist at the Cardiac Center at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Over the past four to five years, we've been conducting research to learn more about neurodevelopmental outcomes after open heart surgery in children and adolescents.

Previous work in this area is focused on outcomes in children who have undergone complex repairs of heart defects early in infancy. Although some mild abnormalities have been found in this group of children, we can't apply these results to older children with less complex forms of heart defects. Less complex forms of heart defects include a hole between the heart's chambers such as an atrial or ventricular septal defect or mild abnormality of the heart valve such as aortic valve stenosis. These children are often without symptoms. They get diagnosed later in life.

To better try to isolate and identify any potential abnormalities after open heart surgery, we enrolled a group of children aged 5 to 18 years of age with less complex forms of heart disease. We performed neurodevelopmental testing before and six months after open heart surgery. We looked at areas such as memory, motor, attention and behavior. We compared our results to an aged-matched group of children who also underwent testing. These control patients did not have heart abnormalities and went under other forms of surgery that did not require cardiopulmonary bypass or the heart-lung machine. We were very encouraged with our results that neither groups demonstrated significant abnormalities in these neurodevelopmental areas after surgery. Both groups were very comparable in their results.

We hope that families and cardiologists will refer to this research in Pediatrics and be able to use this information when discussing outcomes and possible surgical intervention with families in the future. Please visit heart.chop.edu for further information. Thank you.

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