Association between Technical Performance Scores and neurodevelopmental outcomes after congenital cardiac surgery

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Technical Performance Score (TPS) has been shown to have a strong association with early and late outcomes after congenital cardiac surgery, with greater morbidity and reintervention in children with major residual lesions (TPS class 3). We sought to explore the effect of TPS on the neurodevelopmental outcomes.


All infants undergoing cardiac surgery, excluding those with trisomy 21, were offered neurodevelopmental testing at 1 year of age using the Bayley Scales of Infant Development, 3rd edition. TPSs from the discharge echocardiograms were graded as class 1 (optimal), class 2 (minor residual), or class 3 (major residual). Multivariate regression analysis was performed using patient characteristics and preoperative variables.


Neurodevelopmental testing was performed in 140 patients at a median age of 16 months. Of these, 28 (20%) had single ventricle palliation; 39 (28%) were in Risk Adjustment for Congenital Heart Surgery category 4 to 6. Significant differences between the groups were found in the cognitive (P = .01) and motor (P = .05) domains, with subjects in TPS class 3 having significantly lower cognitive and motor composite scores. The scores did not vary significantly according to single ventricle versus biventricular repair or Risk Adjustment for Congenital Heart Surgery categorization. In multivariate modeling, class 3 TPS remained significantly associated with a lower Bayley cognitive score (P = .02), with a trend toward a lower Bayley motor score (P = .08).


We found that TPS is an independent predictor of neurodevelopmental outcomes after infant heart surgery. Future research should explore whether a structured program of intraoperative recognition and intervention on residual lesions can improve the TPS and neurodevelopmental outcomes.

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