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                Weekly Updates in Pediatrics         August 15, 2012 

EDITOR:  Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP 


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Does single-suture craniosynostosis (SSC) affect subsequent neurodevelopment?

Single suture SSC occurs in approximately 1:1700-2500 live births.


Infants surgically treated for SSC were neurodevelopmentally assessed at 18 and 36 months of age and compared to a matched control group.

Lower mean neurodevelopmental scores are consistently demonstrated for infants with SSC, who are almost twice as likely to being in the "delayed" range for cognitive, motor and speech function.

Source:  JAMA

Calibrating post hemorrhagic ventricular dilatation (PHVD)/ subsequent Neurodevelopment using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

Premature infants frequently present with intraventricular hemorrhage and subsequent hydrocephalus. This results in a fairly wide range of mental and physical disabilities.


Brain volumes on MRI were calculated at term following PHVD in 25 preterm infants and Development Quotients (DQ) assessed at 2 years post-term.


PHVD significantly affects subsequent total cerebral and cerebellar volumes. Total cerebral volume (excluding ventricles) at term correlates directly with subsequent mental and motor DQ at 2 years of age.


Source:  Acta Paediatrica 

Factors predicting the need for splenectomy in children following blunt splenic trauma

A small retrospective analysis of children with splenic trauma indicates that hemodynamic instability (and the need for blood transfusion) Glasgow coma score and injury severity score, correlate with the need for splenectomy. In general CT grading is a poor predictor.


Source: Journal of Pediatric Surgery 

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Disease severity, and psychiatric symptoms in perinatal affected youth 


Children 6-17 years of age with prenatally acquired HIV disease on treatment, have psychiatric symptoms (ADHD, depression, conduct disorders), cognitive, academic and social functioning abnormalities which correlate with viral illness severity markers.


Source: JAMA

Video Feature

Perinatal Transmission and Treatment
Perinatal Transmission and Treatment

Source: AIDS Library via You Tube 

Obesity and Genetic Risk


A large (1037) 38 year prospective longitudinal study of infants who had their genetic risk score (single nucleotide polymorphisms previously identified to be associated with chronic obesity in adulthood) assessed was used to examine the relationship between the genetic risk of obesity and family history. (as assessed by parent body mass index when patients were 11 years of age).


Babies with higher genetic risk scores grow more rapidly during early childhood (unrelated to birth size) and appear more likely to be obese in adulthood. Obesity research/preventive strategies should focus on preventing early childhood weight gain.


Source:  JAMA 

Dark chocolate for children's blood pressure (BP)


Higher adult BP (even without hypertension) is predicted by childhood BP. It appears that adults who regularly eat dark chocolate, may lower their BP, but whether the chocolate affects children's BP is unknown.


In a small short-term trial, 94 children (10-12 years of age) were randomized to have a baseline/follow-up BP's taken and to either receive 7 gms of dark chocolate daily at school, or not.


While giving dark chocolate to school children is feasible and acceptable it does not appear in the short term to improve BP.


Source:  Archives of Disease in Childhood  

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