There is little information available on school-age functioning in children with intestinal failure (IF). This study looks at the neurocognitive outcomes of children with IF aged 4 to 8 years old who were treated at a single centre, as well as important medical and demographic factors. Between 2012 and 2016, 28 children in our IF rehabilitation programme had neuropsychological tests, which included measures of IQ, academics, learning/memory, language, visual-motor integration, and fine-motor dexterity. To diagnose Learning Disability, Intellectual Disability, and/or Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, DSM-IV/V criteria were utilised. The level of intellectual functioning ranged from extremely low to excellent. A cognitive/learning DSM diagnosis was given to 46 percent of the participants. The total number of first-year septic episodes was associated with worse results on the majority of cognitive tests. After controlling for gestational age, the frequency of first-year septic episodes was found to be a poor predictor of working memory, visual-motor integration, and visual memory scores. Longer first-year hospitalizations, necrotizing enterocolitis diagnosis, and first-year persistent conjugated hyperbilirubinemia were also associated with worse results on two cognitive assessments. Having two first-year septic episodes raised the possibility of a bad result. Having a sibling was found to be a strong predictor of working memory, processing speed, reading, and verbal learning abilities.

The findings give preliminary evidence that children with IF are at risk of neurocognitive impairments throughout the early stages of schooling. One method for reducing long-term neurocognitive hazards in this cohort is to manage septic episodes during the first year.