Explore if dexmedetomidine (DEX) improves neurodevelopment and cognitive impairment in infants with congenital heart disease.

Materials & Methods:

We retrospectively analyzed 256 pediatric patients aged less than 2 years with heart disease undergoing thoracic surgery. The intelligence quotient and neurodevelopment were tested. Mortality, incidence of postoperation adverse events, duration of mechanical ventilation, and length of stay were recorded and compared.


Compared with those not administered DEX, intelligence quotient scores and neurodevelopment evaluation scores increased in patients receiving perioperative DEX. There were no significant differences in mortality, duration of mechanical ventilation or length of stay.


The administration of DEX might improve neural development and reduce the adverse effects of general anesthesia in infants with congenital heart disease undergoing surgery and extracorporeal circulation.

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