Effect of General Anesthesia on Neurodevelopmental Abnormalities in Children Undergoing Treatment of Vascular Anomalies With Laser Surgery: A Retrospective Review

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Multiple exposures to general anesthesia may be neurotoxic to the developing brain. This relationship has not been evaluated in children undergoing laser surgery for vascular anomalies.


To evaluate the prevalence of neurodevelopmental abnormalities in children who received multiple laser procedures under general anesthesia before the age of 4 years for the treatment of vascular anomalies.


Retrospective chart review of patients with contact of parents for telephone interview.


Thirty-three patients were eligible. Average age at the time of survey was 7.8 years. Twenty-three (84.8%) patients were female, with average age at the time of first treatment at 1.9 years. Average number of treatments received before the age of 4 years was 6.7. Anesthetics included inhalational nitrous oxide and isoflurane and intravenous propofol. Seven patients carried one or more of the following diagnoses: attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (3.0%), anxiety (6.1%), behavioral disorder (3.0%), language disorder (3.0%), speech disorder (3.0%), and motor disorder (6.1%). These prevalence rates are similar to those found in the US population.


This is the first report on the prevalence of neurodevelopmental disorders in children undergoing multiple laser treatments under general anesthesia. Although the study sample is small, no increased risks when comparing with prevalence rates reported in the literature were noted.

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