Cardiology 2011 Conference Focuses on Pediatric Heart Disease

Published on in CHOP News

An international group of over 900 medical experts gathers today to discuss the most current treatments for children with heart disease. Affecting about 8 in every 1,000 children, congenital 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.

Cardiology 2011, the 15th Annual Update on Pediatric and Congenital Cardiovascular Disease, occurs in Scottsdale, Ariz., today through Feb. 6. Sponsored by The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, the conference is one of the largest stand-alone annual pediatric cardiology meetings of its kind. The conference is co-hosted by Phoenix Children's Hospital. This year the conference focus is on developing treatment guidelines for three common heart defects: transposition of the great arteries, teratology of Fallot and single ventricle lesions. In addition to congenital heart disease (CHD), acquired heart disease in children such as hypertension and heart infection will be discussed. Over 350 individual presentations will take place over the four day conference.

Cardiologists, heart surgeons, anesthesiologists and nurses from nearly every state and 16 countries will exchange their experience and discuss new research on medications, surgery, catheterization and ways to improve long term outcomes and quality of life for children and young adults with heart disease. In addition, there will be special sessions combining hospital administrators and physicians to discuss innovative ways to improve the delivery of pediatric cardiac care.

New research from more than 30 cardiac programs presented

"At Cardiology 2011, 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." Original research will be presented throughout the meeting from over 30 cardiac programs in the U.S. and abroad. All presented abstracts are published in the January 2011 issue of the World Journal for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Surgery.

In special sessions, clinicians will observe real-time echocardiographic imaging of heart defects and their surgical repairs, including imaging of mothers carrying babies that have been prenatally diagnosed, as well as older children who have had surgical repairs of the some defects. Finally, instructors from the exercise physiology labs at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and Phoenix Children's Hospital will demonstrate state-of-the-art exercise testing in adolescents with surgically repaired heart defects.

Musical entertainment by cardiology professionals a highlight of the opening

In addition to high-caliber medical research, members of the faculty will provide the musical entertainment as well, at the opening reception on Thursday, February 3rd. The Baby Blue Sound Collective is a group of cardiologists, nurses and surgeons who are musicians and vocalists in addition to providing care for children with heart disease. They have performed at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions in New Orleans, and the World Congress of Pediatric Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery, in Cairns, Australia, among other venues. The BBSC perform a variety of genres, including jazz and pop.

About the Cardiac Center at CHOP

The Cardiac Center at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia is one of the largest centers in the world caring for children with heart disease. 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 unit's 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.

Contact: Joey McCool Ryan, Department of Public Relations, 267-258-6735 or