Cleveland Clinic Children’s has created a comprehensive, dedicated Neurocardiac Clinic as part of our Neurocardiology Program to address the unique needs of children with complex congenital heart disease (CHD) who develop neurodevelopmental disabilities.
Advances in cardiac surgery over the past three decades have led to earlier repairs, yet neurological morbidity remains the major extracardiac manifestation of CHD and includes stroke, seizures and neurodevelopmental disabilities.
Cleveland Clinic pediatric neurologists offer special expertise in the management of associated neurological conditions and complications of these neurological conditions and disorders. They also provide a comprehensive neuromuscular and neurometabolic evaluation for children with unexplained cardiomyopathy or children undergoing heart transplantation. Children who have undergone cardiac surgery and circulatory bypass are monitored in the ICU when needed with continuous video EEG monitoring, to enhance detection of postsurgical seizures.
Increasingly, problems such as learning disabilities, language delay, behavioral difficulties (ADHD, executive dysfunction), visual-spatial dysfunction and coordination (fine motor, oromotor) difficulties have emerged. Approximately 30 to 50 percent of children who have had surgery under cardiopulmonary bypass for complex CHD will require remedial school services, and 15 percent will need fulltime special education.
The importance of identifying neurodevelopmental problems early is critical to allowing each child to reach his or her full potential and to minimize disability.
In our comprehensive Neurocardiac Clinic, specialists in pediatric cardiology, neurology, developmental pediatrics, behavioral health and psychology provide coordinated, compassionate care alongside speech, occupational and physical therapists.