Neurodevelopmental status and follow-up in preschool children with heart disease in London, UK.

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To describe neurodevelopment and follow-up services in preschool children with heart disease (HD).Secondary analysis of a prospectively collected multicentre dataset.Three London tertiary cardiac centres.Preschool children<5 years of age: both inpatients and outpatients.We analysed results of Mullen Scales of Early Learning (MSEL) and parental report of follow-up services in a representative convenience sample evaluated between January 2014 and July 2015 within a previous study.Of 971 preschool children: 577 (59.4%) had ≥1 heart operation, 236 (24.3%) had a known diagnosis linked to developmental delay (DD) (‘known group’) and 130 (13.4%) had history of clinical event linked to DD. On MSEL assessment, 643 (66.2%) had normal development, 181 (18.6%) had borderline scores and 147 (15.1%) had scores indicative of DD. Of 971 children, 609 (62.7%) were not receiving follow-up linked to child development and were more likely to be under these services with a known group diagnosis, history of clinical event linked to DD and DD (defined by MSEL). Of 236 in known group, parents of 77 (32.6%) and of 48 children not in a known group but with DD 29 (60.4%), reported no child development related follow-up. DD defined by MSEL assessment was more likely with a known group and older age at assessment.Our findings indicate that a ‘structured neurodevelopmental follow-up pathway’ in preschool children with HD should be considered for development and evaluation as children get older, with particular focus on those at higher risk.

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