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Neonatal Surgery for Congenital Heart Problems Leads To Lifetime Risk of High Blood Pressure and Kidney Disease, Study Suggests

Jan, 2021 - By WMR

Neonatal Surgery for Congenital Heart Problems Leads To Lifetime Risk of High Blood Pressure and Kidney Disease, Study Suggests

According to a new study initiated by the pediatric specialists of University of Alberta Babies have reported that babies undergoing life-saving heart repair surgery within the first month after birth to experience lifetime risk of high blood pressure and chronic kidney disease.

Catherine Morgan, Associate Professor from University of Alberta stated, “We know that kidneys, like all organs, have to last a lifetime. Most children who have had cardiac surgery as neonates will survive and are going to live a long time, so we need to look at what associated kidney damage during this critical time might mean for them throughout their lives. The numbers were quite significant and worrying, and really important for us in terms of thinking about follow-up.”

In the study, researchers studied 58 six-year-old survivors of cardiac surgery. Researchers observed that out of 58 study participants, 17% of the children were suffering from chronic kidney disease, and 30% of the survivors had high blood pressure. Moreover, in the second study, researchers observed that around only a third of the cardiac survivors had an assessment of their kidney function within the first six years of life.

Researchers further explained that that patients of any age group can encounter an acute injury in the kidneys during and after cardiac surgery, as the organs are sensitive to blood flow from a bypass machine or from a repaired heart might not be completely functional. Moreover, certain drugs might damage kidneys. In addition, researchers also informed that around 40 to 60% of the neonates undergoing heart surgery encounter acute kidney injury, however it is difficult to detect because the only available test (blood creatinine test) is not definitive, especially in the case of neonates. Researchers also reported that undiagnosed high blood pressure and chronic kidney disease may further lead to other heart problems in later life.

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