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Congenital heart disease 

Congenital heart disease
Chapter:
Congenital heart disease
Author(s):

Dr Alexander Opotowsky

, Anji T. Yetman

, and Gary Webb

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199594764.003.0024
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date: 23 August 2019

Over the last 30 years, we have witnessed a transformation in the care provided to both children and adults with congenital heart disease (CHD). As a result of medical and surgical advances, there has been an exponential growth in the number of patients with increasingly complex CHD surviving into adulthood.

While the sentinel events that have altered the landscape of congenital cardiology over the past 30 years are contained in the literature, a landmark ‘event’ is often not captured by a single publication. Rather, what we see is a collection of papers, the first of which documents a novel finding, often times the feasibility of a new treatment. This is followed by subsequent corroborative publications which serve to refine and expand upon the initial approach. Finally, publications appear which, on a larger scale, document not only the feasibility but also the therapeutic success of the new treatment. It is this collection of papers which leads to, or perhaps reflects, a gradual paradigm shift in care. In looking back at the congenital cardiac literature since 1980, it is this process of serial publications which depicts the evolutionary tale in this field.

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