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Adult Congenital Heart Disease

The Discipline

Adult Congenital Heart Disease represents advanced training in care of adult patients with defects in the structure of their heart or great vessels that was present at birth. Congential defects of the heart may be related to underdevelopment of the heart (hypoplasia) or other structural abnormalities (such as septal defects or valvular abnormalities), and may result in functional issues such as obstruction (including valvular stenosis or aortic coarctation) or cyanosis (such as tetrology of Fallot or transposition of the great vessels). Patients with adult congenital heart disease may be treated medically or may have had surgical treatment earlier in life requiring ongoing monitoring and management.

Internists trained in Adult Congenital Heart Disease typically practice in specialized centers and collaboratively with pediatric cardiologists and cardiothoracic surgeons to manage individuals with congenital heart disease across the spectrum of life.

Training

Adult Congenital Heart Disease internists must complete two additional years of training beyond a general internal medicine residency and fellowship in cardiovascular disease; this training is most commonly done immediately following a cardiovascular disease fellowship. Following completion, they are eligible for board certification by the American Board of Internal Medicine.

Major Professional Societies

  • American College of Cardiology
  • International Society for Adult Congenital Heart Disease