Neuropsychological Outcomes of Children 1 Year after Pediatric Cardiac Arrest: Secondary Analysis of 2 Randomized Clinical Trials

Beth S. Slomine, Faye S. Silverstein, James R. Christensen, Kent Page, Richard Holubkov, J. Michael Dean, Frank W. Moler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Importance: Little is known about neuropsychological outcomes of children who survived pediatric cardiac arrest (CA). Objective: To describe the neuropsychological outcomes of CA survivors enrolled in the Therapeutic Hypothermia After Pediatric Cardiac Arrest In-Hospital (THAPCA-IH) and Out-of-Hospital (THAPCA-OH) trials and compare the results with the primary outcome measure for these trials. Design, Setting, and Participants: Secondary analysis of 222 CA survivors aged 1 to 18 years who received chest compressions for 2 minutes or more, remained comatose and required mechanical ventilation after return of circulation, and were enrolled in targeted temperature-management trials from 41 pediatric intensive care units. Data were collected from September 3, 2009, to February 3, 2016, and analyzed from March 10, 2017, to April 20, 2018. Main Outcomes and Measures: The Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales, Second Edition (VABS-II), a standardized measure of neurobehavioral functioning based on caregiver report (age-corrected mean [SD] scores = 100 [15]), was used to evaluate pre-CA functioning within 24 hours after enrollment; VABS-II<70 indicated significant developmental delays; VABS-II and neuropsychological testing were completed 1 year after CA. Neuropsychological testing included the Mullen Scales of Early Learning (Mullen) for children younger than 6 years and the Wechsler Abbreviated Scale of Intelligence (WASI) and neuropsychological measures of attention, memory, processing speed, and executive functioning for older children. Results: Of 160 participants who completed neuropsychological testing, 96 (60.0%) were male; the median (interquartile range [IQR]) age was 2.5 years (1.3-6.1 years). Ninety-six (60.0%) were white, 41 (25.6%) were black, and 23 (14.4%) were of other/unknown race; 343 (21.2%) were Hispanic or Latino; 119 (74.4%) were non-Hispanic or Latino; and 7 (4.4%) were of unknown ethnicity. One hundred fourteen participants (71.2%) were classified as having favorable outcomes (VABS-II ≥70). Impairments (>2 SD below the mean for age) across neuropsychological measures ranged from 7% to 61%. Correlations between global cognitive and VABS-II scores were strong for younger children (Mullen, r = 0.69-0.87) but moderate for older children (r = 0.21-0.54 for the WASI). Of 111 children with favorable outcomes on VABS-II, 25.2% had global cognitive impairment and 30 of 35 older children (85.7%) had selective neuropsychological deficits. Conclusions and Relevance: In this prospectively evaluated cohort of pediatric CA survivors who were initially comatose, although 71.2% were classified as having favorable outcomes, significant neuropsychological deficits were identified in pediatric CA survivors who were classified as having favorable outcomes. The findings provide clinicians with a greater understanding of the spectrum of neuropsychological outcomes of pediatric CA survivors and the complex relationship between standardized caregiver-reported functional outcome measures incorporated in clinical trials and performance-based neuropsychological assessments..

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1502-1510
Number of pages9
JournalJAMA Neurology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'Neuropsychological Outcomes of Children 1 Year after Pediatric Cardiac Arrest: Secondary Analysis of 2 Randomized Clinical Trials'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this