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We hypothesised that exposure to multiple, but not single, procedures requiring general anaesthesia before age 3 yr is associated with a specific pattern of deficits in processing speed and fine motor skills. A secondary analysis (using factor and cluster analyses) of data from the Mayo Anesthesia Safety in Kids study was conducted, in which unexposed, singly exposed, and multiply exposed children born in Olmsted County, MN, USA from 1994 to 2007 were sampled using a propensity-guided approach and underwent neuropsychological testing at ages 8-12 or 15-20 yr. In the factor analysis, the data were well fit to a five factor model. For subjects multiply (but not singly) exposed to anaesthesia, a factor reflecting motor skills, visual-motor integration, and processing speed was significantly lower [standardised difference of -0.35 (95% confidence interval {CI} -0.57 to -0.13)] compared with unexposed subjects. No other factor was associated with exposure. Three groups were identified in the cluster analysis, with 106 subjects (10.6%) in Cluster A (lowest performance in most tests), 557 (55.9%) in Cluster B, and 334 (33.5%) in Cluster C (highest performance in most tests). The odds of multiply exposed children belonging to Cluster A was 2.83 (95% CI: 1.49-5.35; P=0.001) compared with belonging to Cluster B; there was no other significant association between exposure status and cluster membership. Multiple, but not single, exposures to procedures requiring general anaesthesia before age 3 yr are associated with a specific pattern of deficits in neuropsychological tests. Factors predicting which children develop the most pronounced deficits remain unknown. Copyright © 2019 British Journal of Anaesthesia. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Michael J Zaccariello, Ryan D Frank, Minji Lee, Alexandra C Kirsch, Darrell R Schroeder, Andrew C Hanson, Phillip J Schulte, Robert T Wilder, Juraj Sprung, Slavica K Katusic, Randall P Flick, David O Warner. Patterns of neuropsychological changes after general anaesthesia in young children: secondary analysis of the Mayo Anesthesia Safety in Kids study. British journal of anaesthesia. 2019 May;122(5):671-681

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PMID: 30982593

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