Adult congenital heart disease

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Continued advances in the understanding and management of congenital heart disease (CHD) mean that over 90% of children born with CHD now survive to adulthood. This in turn results in greater numbers of adult patients presenting for medical and surgical care at non-specialist centres. A simple classification of adult congenital heart disease (ACHD) according to complexity can help clinicians to understand the implications of the specific cardiac anomaly encountered. Issues relating to the conduct of anaesthesia in ACHD patient include careful attention to euvolaemia, the preservation of sinus rhythm and cardiac output, and in complex patients, manipulating the balance between systemic and pulmonary blood flows. Additionally, effective antibiotic prophylaxis and the prevention of either excessive bleeding or thromboembolism are vitally important. It should not be forgotten that although many patients with simple or repaired cardiac lesions may be very well managed in a non-specialist unit, those with Eisenmenger's syndrome or severe pulmonary hypertension have an extremely high risk of death in the perioperative period, and in all but life-threatening situations should always be managed within specialist centres.




Weale, J., & Kelleher, A. A. (2018, June 1). Adult congenital heart disease. Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine. Elsevier Ltd.

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