The Future of Congenital Heart Disease Treatment

If you are looking for information on Congenital heart disease, you have come to the right place. You can find information about medical and surgical treatments, genetics, Imaging modalities, and subspecialties. In addition, you can learn about how you can prevent the condition or improve the outcome.

Medical or Surgical Treatment Options

If you’ve been diagnosed with congenital heart disease, you may wonder whether medical or surgical treatment is best for you. The first step is to consult your doctor, who can recommend the best treatment options. Depending on the severity of the heart defect, a heart transplant is a good option for a small percentage of patients. A transplant is a surgical procedure that replaces the child’s damaged heart with a healthy one. The donor’s heart is usually from a deceased child. Thankfully, the outlook for children with congenital heart disease is better today than in the past. With the proper treatment and CHD Support, many children can live well into adulthood. Some only need occasional follow-ups with their cardiologist as they grow.

The medical or surgical treatment options for congenital heart defects are based on the severity and type of heart defect and the child’s age, size, and general health. In severe cases, a child may need several procedures and medications.

ACHD Subspecialty

The American Board of Medical Specialties has approved a new certification for adults with congenital heart disease (ACHD). Physicians board certified in cardiology will be eligible to write the exam, which is expected to become available in two or three years. The certification is open to both internal medicine physicians and pediatric cardiologists.

ACHD specialists should be board certified in cardiology and have additional training in adult congenital heart disease. They can diagnose and treat all types of adult genetic heart conditions. In addition to treating complex conditions, these physicians will work with pediatric cardiologists to coordinate patient care.


Recent genetic advances have increased the understanding of congenital heart disease, but many questions remain. Massively parallel sequencing technology has contributed significantly to the field and its knowledge of disease mechanisms. For example, researchers have established the importance of de novo variation in sporadic disease. Recent research has also uncovered a genetic link between heart and brain development.

The onset of genetic research on congenital heart disease dates back to the 1950s. Since then, many studies have been conducted to understand its heritability better. In the 1960s, James Nora and colleagues described multifactorial inheritance, and the Baltimore-Washington Infant Study examined the epidemiology of congenital heart disease. However, until recent years, there was limited genetic information about structural heart disease. These studies have uncovered many new genes, leading to more accurate prenatal genetic testing.

Imaging Modalities

Imaging modalities are essential in diagnosing and treating congenital heart disease. Advanced technology, such as CT and MRI, can help physicians visualize complex cardiac anatomy. In addition, this technology is instrumental in children because it can allow doctors to examine the heart’s inner structure more closely.

Using new imaging modalities can improve diagnosis, identify abnormalities, and assess response to therapy. For example, new techniques for 3D and non-invasive imaging guidance can enhance the accuracy of interventions and decrease radiation exposure. In addition, exploring new frontiers in flow dynamics and the cardiovascular remodeling will help clinicians anticipate changes in the heart during disease and help them treat their patients more effectively. These advances require a collaborative effort between industry and the congenital heart community.

Neuro-imaging Modalities

Neuro-imaging modalities are becoming increasingly common for diagnosing, monitoring, and treating congenital heart disease. These methods are used to monitor heart and ventricular function. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and ultrasound (US) are the most commonly used techniques. They are safe and can be performed on patients of all ages. However, they have their risks, including the potential for adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes.

While there is a need for neuro-imaging modalities for congenital heart disease treatment, there is significant heterogeneity in practice. In Europe, neuromonitoring and neuro-imaging practices are not fully standardized. Consequently, a clear practice guideline is needed to standardize care.


Over the last three decades, surgical treatment for congenital heart disease has changed dramatically. Primary repair is feasible in almost all pediatric patients. This study presents early surgical results of adults with CHD.

Since the first intracardiac repair of the atrial septal defect was performed in 1954, surgery for congenital heart disease has advanced substantially. New minimally invasive techniques have allowed surgeons to reduce surgical insult to the patient and to provide improved cosmetic and functional outcomes. Various new specialized equipment has also been developed to help with minimally invasive cardiac surgery.