Long-term growth of children with congenital heart disease: a retrospective study.

F.M. Schuurmans, C.F.M. Pulles-Heintzberger, W.J.M. Gerver, A.D.M. Kester, Ph. Forget*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Department of Pediatrics, University Hospital of Maastricht, Maastricht University, The Netherlands.

This retrospective study evaluates long-term growth of children with congenital heart disease (CHD) and looks for possible relationships between postsurgical catch-up growth and both severity of preoperative growth failure and operation age. Growth data of 123 children with isolated CHD were available. Mean z-scores and 95% confidence intervals for weight, height and weight-for-height were plotted for age-periods as well as for pre- and postoperative periods. Growth of children with a large VSD or a Tetralogy of Fallot was most abnormal and improved but did not normalize after operation. Catch-up growth for length was strongly correlated with severity of the preoperative growth failure (r = 0.92, p < 0.05) but not with operation age (r = 0.20, NS). We conclude that surgical correction results in catch-up growth for most individuals. Catch-up growth is positively correlated with the severity of the initial growth disturbance and not with age at the moment of surgical correction.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1250-1255
Number of pages6
JournalActa Paediatrica
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1998

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