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G Ital Cardiol (Rome). 2011 Jul-Aug;12(7-8):474-83. doi: 10.1714/915.10073.

[Adult congenital heart disease--between guidelines and clinical practice].

[Article in Italian]

Author information

  • 1IRCCS Policlinico San Donato, San Donato Milanese, Italy. massimo.chessa@grupposandonato.it

Abstract

Advances in medical and surgical management of congenital heart disease have changed the prognosis of infants and children with cardiac defects, so that an increasing number of patients reach adolescence and adult life, even those with complex defects. Recent data suggest that the number of adults with congenital heart disease, either repaired or not, approaches the number of children with the disorder. A cure is rarely achieved and ongoing surveillance and management in conjunction with specialists in this highly specialized field is mandatory to provide optimal care for patients. The profile of this patient population is going to change over the next few decades. Ideally specialist units should be established in appropriate geographic locations; patients need to be concentrated for expertise, experience, and optimal management. Less specialized regional centers and outpatient clinics in districts in connection with grown-up congenital heart disease units should be created. Specialist units should accept responsibility for educating the professionals, training the specialists, and sharing particular skills between each other. Guidelines and recommendations should help physicians to make decision in their daily practice. However, the final judgment regarding the care of an individual patient must be made by his/her physician. This article will briefly discuss some aspects of these dedicated guidelines and how they influence the clinical daily practice.

PMID:
21779113
DOI:
10.1714/915.10073
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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