Adult Congenital Heart Disease Services and Treatments at University Hospitals

The population of adults with congenital heart disease is growing. However, many patients are missing the follow-up care that is critical in adulthood. The goal of the Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program at University Hospitals is to provide a broad range of integrated services to meet the multifaceted needs of those with adult congenital heart disease (ACHD). Our board-certified experts are committed to a collaboration with pediatric and adult cardiologists to greatly optimize the quality and longevity of life for all adult congenital heart disease patients, including adolescents transitioning to adult care and pregnant women with ACHD.

Advanced Diagnostics Services for Adult Congenital Heart Disease 

Our adult congenital heart disease experts are highly trained in all areas of heart care, using leading-edge diagnostic technology for evaluation, diagnosis and continued monitoring. Our team of specialists offer the following state-of-the-art, advanced diagnostic services:

  • Cardiac catheterizations – diagnostic and interventional
  • Cardiac computed tomography (CT)
  • Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging and angiography (MRI/MRA)
  • Echocardiograms (transthoracic, transesophageal, intracardiac)
  • Electrophysiology studies
  • Exercise stress tests
  • Optical coherence tomography
  • Intravascular ultrasound

Adult Congenital Heart Disease Interventional Program

After an evaluation and consultation, our team may recommend a comprehensive interventional approach that combines the expertise of both adult congenital heart disease specialists and adult cardiologists.

Available transcatheter therapies include:

  • Angioplasty and stenting of coarctation of the aorta
  • Transcatheter aortic valve replacement
  • Device closure of septal defects
  • Mitral valve repair
  • Occlusion of coronary fistula
  • Other complex congenital interventions
  • Patent ductus arteriosus closure
  • pulmonic valve replacement
  • Valve-in-valve replacement

We offer some of the most advanced technologies available for interventional heart care, including access to the advanced hybrid cardiac catheterization and surgical suites at UH Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital. Designed for both children and adults, this state-of-the-art facility allows our team to perform even the most complex interventional cardiology procedures, including open heart surgery, using the most advanced technology available worldwide.

Heart Transplant Clinic

Patients in more advanced stages of heart failure, may be referred to our heart transplant program. This team will evaluate each patient, based on their individualized needs, for mechanical circulatory support, which could possibly include heart transplant or heart-lung transplant.

Novel Treatments for Adult Congenital Heart Disease

With the wealth of leading-edge research available on treating adult congenital heart disease, our physicians at University Hospitals may recommend medically advanced novel therapies, including:

  • A bioresorbable (biodegradable) stent that is inserted into a narrowed blood vessel to increase flow and prevent future blockage
  • Implantable hemodynamic monitoring systems to follow pressures in the heart while the patient is at home
  • Mechanical assist devices such as the Total Artificial Heart that will play an increasingly important role in the surgical management of pediatric biventricular heart failure
  • New transcatheter valves and valve repair strategies to avoid needing to go to the operating room for open heart surgery

Collaborative Care for Pregnant Women

To reduce risks during pregnancy, specialists at the Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program work alongside specially trained maternal fetal medicine experts at University Hospitals to care for pregnant women with adult congenital heart disease. Together, we provide women with expert obstetric care from an experienced team knowledgeable about a variety of heart conditions and the possible effects of pregnancy on those conditions. ACHD patients have access to the pre-conception planning clinic at University Hospitals MacDonald Women’s Hospital to optimize the patient’s health and select medications that can improve outcomes for mother and baby. We also offer counseling about various forms of contraception deemed safe for high-risk congenital heart disease patients.

Transitional Program for Adolescents

The Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program provides an exclusive educational program for adolescents as they shift from pediatric heart care to adult congenital heart care, working closely with the congenital heart experts at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital’s Congenital Heart Collaborative. We offer adolescents with congenital heart disease ongoing education about the importance of engaging in a lifetime of specialized heart care, as well as making positive lifestyle choices to optimize long-term cardiovascular health. We believe that most adolescents treated for congenital heart disease will lead a full adult life with proper follow-up and treatment.

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