Many aspects of pediatric cardiology are relatively new to the discipline. Only recently have physicians been able to accurately diagnose and characterize the myriad congenital cardiovascular conditions that occur and begin to apply successful strategies for care. This week, an international group of more than 800 medical experts gather at the nation’s largest pediatric cardiology conference to discuss challenges in treating congenital heart disease in the fetus, neonates, children and young adults. Affecting one in 120 children, congenital heart disease (CHD) is the most common birth defect, which in the most severe forms is also the leading cause of death in infants and young children.
Improvements in CHD diagnosis and treatment but challenges remain
“While the origins of congenital heart disease remain a mystery, diagnostic capabilities continue to improve, and treatment and management strategies continue to evolve — however, many anomalies remain difficult to treat effectively,” said Jack Rychik, MD, the conference course director and medical director of the Fetal Heart Program and the Single Ventricle Survivorship Program at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. He added, “as a consequence of our success, the survivors of childhood surgery and other treatments are now adults, presenting to us with new needs. Early survival alone is not sufficient. The challenge ahead is to create a normal duration and quality of life for all who are born with heart disease or who acquire it early in life.”
Today’s practice of pediatric and congenital cardiovascular medicine spans a wide spectrum of care from the fetus through adulthood. With many different conditions manifesting at various stages of life, many challenges and dilemmas exist in our understanding of the mechanisms of disease, as well as in our capacity for effective management and treatment of these conditions.
Conference theme: "Challenges and Dilemmas"
With this approach in mind, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and Phoenix Children’s Hospital present the 18th Annual Update on Pediatric and Congenital Cardiovascular Disease. The theme this year is “Challenges and Dilemmas.” The course faculty will present multiple talks in plenary sessions, as well as presentations in subspecialty breakout sessions and a series of moderated panels of experts, discussing ongoing and comprehensive care of the child with congenital heart disease.
Pediatric cardiologists, heart surgeons, anesthesiologists, nurses and perfusionists from nearly every state and more than 20 countries will discuss new treatments for children in heart failure, neurodevelopment in children who have congenital heart disease, innovation and challenges in the management of children with single ventricle, and adult congenital heart disease.
Eight oral presentations, by researchers competing for the Outstanding Investigator Award will be featured during the conference — with the winner announced on Sat. Feb. 14.
Cardiology 2015 — the 18th Annual Update on Pediatric and Cardiovascular Disease occurs in Scottsdale, AZ, today through Feb. 15. The conference is the largest annual standalone pediatric meeting of its kind and brings together leaders in pediatric heart care from around the world.