The neonatal brain in critical congenital heart disease: Insights and future directions.


Division of Pediatric Cardiology, University of California San Francisco Benioff Children's Hospital, USA. Electronic address: [Email]


Neurodevelopmental outcomes are impaired in survivors of critical congenital heart disease (CHD) in several developmental domains including motor, cognitive and sensory outcomes. These deficits can extend into the adolescent and early adulthood years. The cause of these neurodevelopmental impairments is multi-factorial and includes patient specific risk factors, cardiac anatomy and physiology as well as brain changes seen on MRI. Advances in imaging techniques have identified delayed brain development in the neonate with critical CHD as well as acquired brain injury. These abnormalities are seen even before corrective neonatal cardiac surgery. This review focuses on describing brain changes seen on MRI in neonates with CHD, risk factors for these changes and the association with neurodevelopmental outcome. There is an emerging focus on the impact of cardiovascular physiology on brain health and the complex heart-brain interplay that influences ultimate neurodevelopmental outcome in these patients.


Brain development,Brain injury,Congenital heart disease,Neurodevelopment,