To evaluate neurodevelopmental and mental disorders after PICU hospitalization in children requiring invasive mechanical ventilation for severe respiratory illness.
Retrospective longitudinal observational cohort.
Texas Medicaid Analytic eXtract data from 1999 to 2012.
Texas Medicaid-enrolled children greater than or equal to 28 days old to less than 18 years old hospitalized for a primary respiratory illness, without major chronic conditions predictive of abnormal neurodevelopment.
We examined rates of International Classification of Diseases, 9th revision–coded mental disorder diagnoses and psychotropic medication use following discharge among children requiring invasive mechanical ventilation for severe respiratory illness, compared with general hospital patients propensity score matched on sociodemographic and clinical characteristics prior to admission. Children admitted to the PICU for respiratory illness not necessitating invasive mechanical ventilation were also compared with matched general hospital patients as a negative control exposure.
MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS:
Of 115,335 eligible children, 1,351 required invasive mechanical ventilation and were matched to 6,755 general hospital patients. Compared with general hospital patients, children requiring invasive mechanical ventilation had increased mental disorder diagnoses (hazard ratio, 1.43 [95% CI, 1.26–1.64]; p < 0.0001) and psychotropic medication use (hazard ratio, 1.67 [1.34–2.08]; p < 0.0001) following discharge. Seven-thousand seven-hundred eighty children admitted to the PICU without invasive mechanical ventilation were matched to 38,900 general hospital patients and had increased mental disorder diagnoses (hazard ratio, 1.08 [1.02–1.15]; p = 0.01) and psychotropic medication use (hazard ratio, 1.11 [1.00–1.22]; p = 0.049).
Children without major comorbidity requiring invasive mechanical ventilation for severe respiratory illness had a 43% higher incidence of subsequent mental disorder diagnoses and a 67% higher incidence of psychotropic medication use. Both increases were substantially higher than in PICU patients with respiratory illness not necessitating invasive mechanical ventilation. Invasive mechanical ventilation is a life-saving therapy, and its application is interwoven with underlying health, illness severity, and PICU management decisions. Further research is required to determine which factors related to invasive mechanical ventilation and severe respiratory illness are associated with abnormal neurodevelopment. Given the increased risk in these children, identification of strategies for prevention, neurodevelopmental surveillance, and intervention after discharge may be warranted.