Full-scale intelligence quotient (FSIQ) on the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence, third edition (WPPSI-III)
Secondary outcomes included
Additional measures for executive function | Behavioral checklist
205 children in the awake-regional anesthesia group | 242 in the general anesthesia group
The median duration of general anesthesia: 54 min
The mean FSIQ score was not statistically different between groups
Awake-regional anesthesia group: 99.08
general anesthesia group: 98.97
The results of the intention-to-treat analysis were similar to those of the per-protocol analysis
Previous cohort studies may have been biased by confounding
For example, condition requiring surgery may be associated with adverse neurodevelopmental outcome
Current study only RCT to assess effects on neurodevelopment
There was not statistical differences and strong evidence for equivalence in neurodevelopment at 5 years between those children exposed to approximately 1 hour of regional anesthesia and those children receiving awake regional block
Current FDA warning regarding risks of general anesthesia could have potential harms, including parents and surgeons delaying procedures
The authors state that this study
…being consistent with data from several previous cohort studies, provides strong evidence that just under 1 h of general anaesthesia in infancy does not cause significant neurocognitive or behavioural deficits
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