For over two decades, the Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease Council of the American Society of Echocardiography has had a long history of providing high quality educational resources for the ASE community at large. At present, over one million adults are living with congenital heart disease and that number will continue to grow due to the successful treatment of these defects. As this patient population ages, more cardiologists and sonographers will need to become familiar with the diseases they have and the surgeries that they have experienced. This year has been a particularly productive one for the Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease Council in working to develop educational materials for the ASE community.
In the August issue of JASE, an ASE guideline was published entitled “Guidelines for the Echocardiographic Assessment of Atrial Septal Defect and Patent Foramen Ovale.” This document, written by ASE in collaboration with the Society for Cardiac Angiography and Interventions, had several Pediatric Council members as authors. The guideline provides an overview of the anatomy of the atrial septum, the various types of atrial communications, and the comprehensive assessment of these defects by transthoracic, transesophageal, and three-dimensional imaging. With the development of effective occluder devices to close atrial communications, it has become more important to distinguish the type of atrial septal defect a patient may have. Certain types of atrial communications such as ostium primum defects and sinus venosus defects can only be closed by a surgical procedure. Defects that are being considered for device closure (secundum atrial septal defect and patent foramen ovale) have a variety of shapes and sizes that may make them suitable or unsuitable for successful occlusion with a device. Importantly, imaging can be used to help assess the risk of the development of device erosion or to detect it once it has occurred. A live webinar reviewing this guideline took place on September 30 and is archived on ASEUniversity.
ASE educational materials have also been developed that can be used for Maintenance of Certification. “Clinical Cases in Echocardiography: Focus on Congenital Heart Disease” is such a resource. This product includes a series of echocardiographic images in a spectrum of congenital heart defects with questions and full explanations for the correct and incorrect answers. With purchase of this product and completion of the questions, each ASE member can receive AMA PRA Category 1 credits or Part 2 Maintenance of Certification points for the American Board of Pediatrics or the American Board of Internal Medicine.
A very exciting new educational product that is being offered by ASE ( www.ASEUniversity.org ) is the “Lecture Series: Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease.” For over a decade, ASE’s Annual Scientific Sessions has traditionally had a Congenital Heart Disease session held on the Saturday of the meeting. This comprehensive session has highlighted particular cardiac lesions, and it has always been very well attended. Knowing that some ASE members are not able to attend the Scientific Sessions, ASE has developed this set of learning modules that will have the lectures from the Scientific Sessions available for purchase as individual lectures or as an entire product. For each congenital heart lesion, there will be lectures on the pathology, preoperative imaging, postoperative imaging, and surgical strategy. A wide variety of lectures will be available from the last six Scientific Sessions including pulmonary venous anomalies, atrial septal defects, tricuspid valve pathology, common atrioventricular canal, tetralogy of Fallot, transposition of the great arteries, congenitally corrected transposition of the great arteries, double outlet right ventricle, truncus arteriosus, hypoplastic left heart syndrome, pulmonary atresia with intact ventricular septum, and aortic coarctation and interrupted aortic arch. For each lesion, CME credits will be available if the questions at the end of the session are answered. This is one of the most comprehensive lecture series available on congenital heart disease.
Other materials are coming soon, including two new guidelines that are in review before publication in JASE including “Three-Dimensional Imaging of Congenital Heart Disease” (a joint effort with the European Association of Cardiovascular Imaging) and “Multimodality Imaging Guidelines for Patients with Transposition of the Great Arteries” (a joint effort with the Society for Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance and the Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography).
The Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease Council has been very active in its efforts to provide outstanding educational materials for our council members as well as members of the ASE community at large. With the congenital heart disease population surviving to adulthood, knowledge about various congenital cardiac conditions and their surgical strategies will become necessary for many adult cardiology practitioners. The Council looks forward to working with our colleagues in other councils and in other societies to continue our educational efforts.
Meryl S. Cohen, MD, FASE, FACC, FAHA is a Professor of Pediatrics at University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, and Medical Director of the Echocardiography Laboratory and Program Director for the Cardiology Fellowship Program at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. She is the Chair of the Council on Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease Steering Committee.