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February 12, 2010

International Conference Focuses on Pediatric Heart Disease

Cardiology 2010 opens Feb.12

Cardiology 2010, the 13th Annual Update on Pediatric and Congenital Cardiovascular Disease, occurs in Orlando, Fla., Feb. 12-14. Sponsored by The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, the conference is the largest stand-alone annual pediatric cardiology meeting of its kind. The meeting will bring together an international group of over 900 medical experts gathers today to discuss the most current treatments for children with heart disease.

Congenital and acquired heart diseases in children featured

Congenital (acquired at birth) heart disease will be one focus of the conference. Affecting about 8 in every 1,000 children, congenital (present at birth) heart disease is the most common birth defect. In its severe forms, it is also the leading cause of death from birth defects in infants.

In addition to congenital heart disease, acquired heart disease in children such as hypertension and heart infection will be discussed. Obesity is also putting children at increased risk for acquired heart disease, previously limited to older patients.

Professionals exchange new heart disease research outcomes

Cardiologists, heart surgeons, anesthesiologists and nurses from nearly every state and 16 countries will exchange research on new medications for children with heart disease, innovative surgical treatments, neurodevelopmental outcomes in school-age children with heart disease and the latest recommendations for pediatric heart care.

"At Cardiology 2010, the most significant advances in patient care, research and training are discussed by the people making them happen," said the conference's course director, Gil Wernovsky, MD, associate chief of Cardiology at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. "The research being presented this year is of the highest caliber."

One of the featured presentations at the conference, by David Goldberg, MD, pediatric cardiologist at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, describes how the erectile dysfunction drug sildenafil plays an important role in improving heart function in children with single-ventricle heart defects - serious conditions that impair the heart's ability to pump blood. Other featured presentations concern a trial of drugs to prevent respiratory syncytial virus infections in pediatric heart patients, a trial of surgical therapy for hypoplastic left heart syndrome and a trial of ACE inhibitors in children with single-ventricle disease. The latter two trials were sponsored by the Pediatric Heart Network.

Cardiac staff put their hearts into entertainment too

In addition to high-caliber medical research, those attending can enjoy high-quality entertainment from their musically-gifted colleagues, performing as the Blue Baby Jazz and Sound Collective on Saturday night. Members of the course faculty perform with a string section joined by brass and woodwinds, vocalists and a full rhythm section. The cardiologists, surgeons and nurses perform a variety of genres, including jazz and pop. "It's always important for cardiologists to have rhythm," remarks Wernovsky.

About the Cardiac Center at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

The Cardiac Center at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia is one of the largest centers in the world with 24,000 outpatient visits, 1,500 inpatient admissions and more than 1,000 cardiac catheterizations annually. Babies who are prenatally diagnosed with a congenital heart defect may be delivered in the Garbose Family Special Delivery Unit, the world's first delivery unit exclusively for babies with congenital conditions. The staff includes pediatric cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons, pediatric cardiac anesthesiologists, cardiac nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, social workers, respiratory therapists, child life specialists, operating room technicians and many others

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