Long-Term MRI Changes in Brain After Pediatric Open Heart Surgery

Geoffrey Miller, Alexander C. Mamourian, Johanna R. Tesman, Barry G. Baylen, John L. Myers

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76 Scopus citations


We performed magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) on the brain and neurologic examinations on 23 children after open heart surgery for congenital heart disease. Twenty children also had psychometric assessments. Examinations were performed at a mean age of 66 months (range, 26 to 180 months). Age at operation was less than 1 month in 43% and more than 6 months in 45%. Abnormal scans were found in 17 (74%) and showed diffuse findings consistent with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, with or without areas of cortical infarction; focal cortical infarction alone; and (in one patient) callosal agenesis and abnormal neuronal migration. Normal IQ and neurologic examinations were found in all six of those who had a normal MRI, and five of six children with changes consistent with focal cortical infarction without diffuse change had a normal neurologic examination. Cerebral palsy and mental retardation was common in the group with diffuse abnormality (in eight of nine children), and this was more likely to occur in those who underwent prolonged (> 45 minutes) hypothermic circulatory arrest and operation during early infancy (P =.004). Focal cortical findings without diffuse changes were more likely in those who underwent open heart surgery without hypothermic circulatory arrest and were older than 6 months at operation, and these children were less likely to have frank neurodevelopmental sequelae. Thus, in our population, focal cortical lesions were common after open heart surgery, and, in addition, diffuse brain abnormality on MRI plus neurologic sequelae were common after prolonged hypothermic circulatory arrest. (J Child Neurol 1994;9:390-397).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)390-397
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Child Neurology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1994

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Clinical Neurology


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