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Long-term neuropsychological outcomes in children and adolescents after cardiac arrestOpen access

Lennart van Zellem| Corinne Buysse| Marlous Madderom| Jeroen S. Legerstee| Femke Aarsen| Dick Tibboel| Elisabeth M. Utens
Original
Volume 41, Issue 6 / June , 2015

Pages 1057 - 1066

Abstract

Purpose

Research into neuropsychological functioning of survivors of cardiac arrest (CA) in childhood is scarce. We sought to assess long-term neuropsychological functioning in children and adolescents surviving CA.

Methods

Neuropsychological follow-up study involving all consecutive children surviving CA between January 2002 and December 2011. Intelligence (IQ), language, attention, memory, visual–spatial, and executive functioning were assessed with internationally validated, neuropsychological tests and questionnaires. Scores were compared with Dutch normative data.

Results

Of 107 eligible children, 47 who visited the outpatient clinic (median follow-up interval: 5.6 years) were analyzed. Fifty-five percent had an in-hospital CA, 86 % a non-shockable rhythm, and 49 % a respiratory-related etiology. CA survivors scored significantly worse on full-scale IQ (), verbal IQ (), performance IQ (), verbal comprehension index (), perceptual organization index (), and processing speed index (), than the norm population (mean IQ = 100). On neuropsychological tests, compared with norms, respectively adjusted for IQ, significantly worse scores were found on visual memory, significantly better on verbal memory (recognition), and comparable outcomes on visual–motor integration, attention, other measures of verbal memory, and executive functioning. On questionnaires, parents reported better executive functioning than the norm, but teachers reported more problems in planning/organizing skills.

Conclusions

Long-term neuropsychological assessment of CA survivors showed significant weaknesses, but also relatively intact functioning. As deficits in IQ, memory and executive functioning have significant impact on the child, long-term follow-up and neuropsychological support of CA survivors is warranted.

Keywords

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