Congenital heart defects are cardiac abnormalities present at birth. Approximately 8 out of every 1,000 infants are born with congenital heart disease. Some defects are mild and may not even be apparent during infancy or childhood. Others are life threatening and require surgery during infancy. The care of infants and children with congenital heart disease has been a monumental success.
With the advent of sophisticated diagnostic imaging, advanced medical therapy, catheter-based interventional procedures, and innovative surgery, over 90% of infants born with a congenital heart defect now survive well into adulthood.
The success of caring for infants and children with congenital heart disease has created new challenges. The unique anatomy, physiology, hemodynamics, and surgical procedures are unfamiliar to most physicians who care for adult patients. The nomenclature alone can be ...view middle of the document...
In many cases the long-term sequelae following surgical or interventional catheter based repair are well recognized. In other cases the long-term sequelae are not yet characterized. Long-term follow-up studies will be needed to define the natural history after repair of both simple and complex defects. An awareness of associated defects is essential. For example, ascending aortic aneurysms are often associated with bicuspid aortic valves.
Given the complexity of caring for adult patients with repaired or unrepaired congenital heart defects, specialized programs for this purpose have evolved throughout the world including here, at the University of Vermont College of Medicine and Fletcher Allen Health Care. The Adult Congenital Heart Disease and Pulmonary Hypertension Program at the University of Vermont College of Medicine and Fletcher Allen Health Care is committed to providing state-of-the-art and comprehensive care for adults with repaired or unrepaired congenital heart defects.
Some of the defects encountered in patients followed in our program include:
â€¢ Atrial septal defect (ASD)
â€¢ Sinus venosus defect
â€¢ Ventricular septal defect (VSD)
â€¢ Partial and complete atrioventricular canal defects
â€¢ Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA)
â€¢ Bicuspid aortic valve
â€¢ Pulmonary stenosis and regurgitation
â€¢ Ebstein's anomaly of the tricuspid valve
â€¢ Coarctation of the aorta
â€¢ Tetralogy of Fallot
â€¢ Congenitally corrected and complete transpositon of the great arteries
â€¢ Persistent truncus arteriosus
â€¢ Tricuspid and/or pulmonary atresia
â€¢ Anomalous pulmonary venous connection
â€¢ Eisenmenger syndrome
In addition to the management of ongoing problems, a major focus is long-term preventive care including consultation regarding bacterial endocarditis, pregnancy, exercise and genetic risk to children. A full range of imaging techniques are available, including CVMRI, to facilitate diagnosis and management.
University cardiology Associates