Adult congenital heart disease: a 2008 overview

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IntroductionDuring the past decades, health care of patients born with congenital heart disease (CHD) has improved substantially, leading to a growing population of adult survivors.Source of dataUsing the recently published and relevant data on adult CHD (ACHD), we reviewed the most common congenital heart defects and discussed important related issues.Areas of agreementAdults with CHD most often require specialized medical or surgical care in a tertiary centre. However, this population also need local follow-up; general practitioners and other specialists therefore have to face the complexity of their disease.Areas of controversiesManagement of pregnancy, non-cardiac surgery, arrhythmias and endocarditis prophylaxis may be challenging in patients with CHD and should be adapted to their condition.Growing pointsThe present article summarizes key clinical information on ACHD for the benefit of physicians who are not specialized in this field.Areas timely for developing researchResearch efforts and education strategies are greatly needed in order to optimize the care of patients with ACHD.

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