Neuropsychologic abnormalities in children with congenital central hypoventilation syndrome

Jean M. Silvestri*, Debra E. Weese-Mayer, Michael N. Nelson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


We hypothesized that intellectual, neurodevelopmental, and visual-motor tests would be able to characterize the scope and nature of central nervous system involvement in children with congenital central hypoventilation syndrome. Age-appropriate intellectual (Brazelton Neonatal Behavioral Assessment, Bayley Scales of Infant Development, Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence-Revised and Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Revised), neurodevelopmental (Halsted-Reitan neuropsychologic battery), and visual-motor (Beery visual-motor integration test) tests were given to 17 children with congenital central hypoventilation syndrome (age 0.1 to 14.3 years). We found a broad range in IQ and developmental quotient, from greater than the 85th percentile to less than the 5th percentile, with discrepancies noted between verbal and performance measures. Multiple asymmetries and deficiencies of motor performance, not consistently related to handedness, were also found. Significant eye-hand coordination deficits were uncommon, but general performance was well below average. Full, verbal, and performance IQs and developmental quotients ≥70 and <70 were compared by chi-square analysis with other associated conditions, including hours of ventilatory support, duration of initial hospitalization, growth, pulmonary hypertension, seizures, brain atrophy, central and peripheral hearing deficits, and ophthaimologic abnormalities; no statistically significant associations were found. These results lend support to the hypothesis that congenital central hypoventilation syndrome is a diffuse central nervous system process. However, the effects of transient hypoxia and associated conditions on neurodevelopmental test results cannot be excluded with certainty.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)388-393
Number of pages6
JournalThe Journal of pediatrics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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