Background: Newborns with congenital heart disease have increased risk of brain injury, which result in poor neurologic outcomes. Cerebral ventriculomegaly is an uncommon example of this brain injury. Secondary erythrocytosis is also commonly seen in patients with cyanotic congenital heart disease as a physiologic response to hypoxia. This study aims to determine the association between cerebral ventriculomegaly and secondary erythrocytosis among patients with cyanotic congenital heart disease.
Method: This is a cross-sectional study. Twenty three pediatric patients aged 1-10 years who were diagnosed with cyanotic congenital heart disease were included in this study after clearance from the Institutional Ethics Review Board. Complete plain MRI of the brain was done to evaluate the degree of cerebral ventriculomegaly using Evan's Index. MRI scanning was done under the supervision of a pediatric cardiologist or a pediatric anesthesiologist. Hematocrit was also determined to assess the occurrence of secondary erythrocytosis.
Results: Ten out of the 23 subjects diagnosed with cyanotic congenital heart disease showed increased hematocrit levels diagnostic for secondary erythrocytosis, while none showed any sign of cerebral ventricular enlargement.
Conclusion: There is currently insufficient evidence to support the association of cerebral ventriculomegaly and secondary erythrocytosis among patients with cyanotic congenital heart disease.