Abstract 14030: Assessment of Visual, Verbal, and Working Memory in Adolescents with Congenital Heart Disease Post-Surgery
Background: Memory loss has been reported in adolescents with congenital heart disease (CHD) and is problematic in a group that must eventually take responsibility for their health care. However, the specific type of memory deficits in CHD subjects post-surgery is unclear. The purpose of this study was to examine the incidence and type of memory loss in adolescents with CHD post-surgery.
Methods: We used comparative study design with 60 adolescents (30 CHD post-surgery and 30 healthy controls), age 14-21 years, matched for age (± 2 years) and gender, no known genetic syndromes, and assessed memory using the Wide Range Assessment of Memory and Learning (WRAML2). The WRAML2 provides scores on individual memory domains, working memory, and general memory index (GMI; verbal, visual, attention / concentration; GMI ≥ 100 is normal). Descriptive and non-parametric inferential statistics were used to assess group characteristics and memory scores.
Results: CHD subjects consisted of 65% males, median age 17 (range 14-21), 42% Hispanic, and surgical diagnosis 27% Fontan. Participants had a median of 2 (range 1-4) previous heart surgeries with 14 years (range 2-17) since last surgery. Significant memory deficits (GMI) were identified in the CHD compared to healthy group (CHD vs. Healthy; median 92 (range 49-112) vs. 116 (range 90-139), p <.001). Majority of CHD subjects (69%) scored ≥ 1.0 SD below the normal on the GMI portion of the WRAML2 compared to the healthy controls (26%). Significant verbal and working memory deficits were identified (CHD vs. Healthy; verbal median 91 (range 72-120) vs. 110 (range 85-135), p <.001; working memory median 84 (55-115) vs. 106 (82-125), p <.001. However, no significant differences emerged between the groups for visual memory.
Conclusion: Adolescents with moderate to complex CHD post-surgical repair or palliation had significant memory deficits, especially in verbal and working memory, compared to healthy controls. These findings indicate that to enhance patient self-care in CHD, clinicians should explore the increased use of visual patient education methods rather than verbal training in adolescent CHD transition programs.
- Congenital heart disease
- Cognitive function
- Pediatric cardiology
- Patient education/teaching psychosocial aspects
Author Disclosures: N.A. Pike: Research Grant; Significant; NIH 1R01NR013930. M.A. Woo: Research Grant; Modest; NIH/NINR R01NR013625, NIH/NINR R01NR014669. M.K. Poulsen: Research Grant; Modest; NIH 1R01NR013930. W. Evangelista: Research Grant; Significant; NIH 1R01NR013930. N.J. Halnon: Research Grant; Significant; NIH 1R01NR013930. A.B. Lewis: Research Grant; Modest; NIH 1R01NR013930. R. Kumar: Research Grant; Significant; NIH 1R01NR013930.
- © 2014 by American Heart Association, Inc.