Authors: Baum M,Freier MC,Freeman KR,Chinnock RE,
Address: Departments of Pediatrics and Psychology, Loma Linda University Children's Hospital, 92354, Loma Linda, CA, USA
Journal: Prog Pediatr Cardiol.
Publication: 2000 Jun 1;11(2):159-163.
Pediatric heart transplantation has become a mainstay in the treatment of end-stage heart disease in infants and children. There is, however, sparse information on post-transplant Developmental and cognitive functioning. At Loma Linda University Children's Hospital 223 infants have undergone heart transplantation surgery with a survival rate of 73% (n=165). This article reports on four areas of investigation of this cohort of infants. Infant development: Two studies were done utilizing the Bayley Scales of Infant Development (mean 100, S.D.+/-15). The first study (n=48) showed mean values within the normal range [Mental Development Index (MDI) 87; Psychomotor Developmental Index (PDI) 90]. The second study (n=23) showed developmental scores within normal limits in 4-8 month olds with a tendency for decline in development at 12-24 months (MDI 83, PDI 77). Child development: Ninty-one infant recipients were greater than 5 years old. Forty-five children were excluded because of long distances from the hospital, second transplantation, abnormal karyotype, primary language non-English, or invalid testing. The Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence-Revised testing of 5-6-year-olds (n=23) showed a Full Scale IQ of 74, Performance IQ of 76, and Verbal IQ of 77. The Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-III testing of 7-10-year-olds (n=23) showed a Full Scale IQ of 86, Performance IQ of 89, and Verbal IQ of 86. The Wechsler Individual Achievement Test (mean 100, S.D.+/-15) yielded a Total Composite of 91, Mathematics Composite of 86, Language Composite of 98, and a Reading Composite of 94. Visual spatial skills: Visual motor integration (mean 100, S.D.+/-15) was evaluated in 5-10-year-olds with a mean of 87; however, 52% of the children had scores below 1 S.D. Subtests from the Wechsler scales that assess visual motor and visual spatial skills indicated significant deficits. Behavior: Younger children (n=33) demonstrated behaviors indicative of social isolation. Older children (n=36) showed behavior that was within the normal limits, but depression was noted in a significant number of them. Conclusions: Infant heart transplant recipients demonstrate IQ and achievement levels within the normal range, but there is a significant amount of variability with more children than would be expected scoring in the lower ranges. Children with heart transplantation are at risk for visual spatial skill deficits. Young children are at risk for social isolation while symptoms of depression are noted in older children.