As survival rates have steadily improved for children with heart defects, physicians have focused more attention on improving quality-of-life factors such as neurological and cognitive abilities. A new study shows that newborns with congenital heart disease often have abnormally low blood flow in their brains before they undergo surgery.
Researchers from The Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia led the study, published in the December issue of The Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery.
One of every 100 children is born with a heart defect--one-third of which are severe enough to require surgery during the newborn period. Many of those high-risk children are identified as having neurological and cognitive problems during the months and years that follow. While some of these problems may be related to the complexity of the surgery, evidence is mounting that abnormal neurological conditions play a role even before surgery.
John Ascenzi | EurekAlert!
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