Background: Children with congenital heart disease (CHD) have an increased risk of neurocognitive impairment. No prior studies have evaluated the role of OSA, which is associated with neurocognitive impairment in children without CHD. Research Question: Is OSA is associated with neurocognitive impairment in children with CHD? Study Design and Methods: Children aged 6 to 17 years with corrected moderate to complex CHD without syndromes that may affect neurocognition were recruited from the pediatric cardiology clinic. Participants underwent home sleep testing and neurocognitive testing, including a validated Intellectual Quotient (IQ) test as well as validated tests of memory (Paired Associates Learning test), executive function (Intra-Extra Dimensional set shift test), and attention (Simple Reaction Test) from the CANTAB neurocognitive testing battery. Results: Complete results were available for 30 children. Seventeen children (57%) were found to have OSA. Total IQ was markedly lower in children with CHD and comorbid OSA compared with children with CHD without comorbid OSA (mean, 86 ± 12 vs 98 ± 11; P = .01). Children with CHD and OSA did significantly worse on the Paired Associates Learning test, with a median of eight total errors (interquartile range [IQR], 2.25-15) compared with children with CHD without OSA (median total errors, 2, IQR, 1-8; P = .02). Interpretation: Children with CHD and comorbid OSA have impaired neurocognition compared with children with CHD without comorbid OSA. OSA may be a reversible cause of neurocognitive impairment in children with CHD. Further research is needed to evaluate the effects of OSA treatment on neurocognitive impairment in children with CHD.
- cognitive function
- congenital heart
- pediatric cardiology
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine