Update on Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease Council Activities and Directions for the Future

Benjamin W. Eidem, MD, FASE

This is my first council communication as chair of the ASE’s Council on Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve in this role and look forward to another productive two years for our council. I want to first express my gratitude to Wyman Lai, MD, MPH, FASE for the wonderful job he did as chair these past 2 years. Dr. Wyman has set the bar exceeding high, and I look forward to continuing these initiatives as well as developing many new ones.

There are several newly elected members of the council board beginning in 2011. Leo Lopez MD, FASE has been nominated as chair-elect and will succeed me as chair in 2013. Luc Mertens MD, PhD, FASE has been elected as the Pediatric Program co-chair for the ASE Scientific Sessions in 2012 in Washington DC and will become the Program Chair for the Pediatric Sessions in 2013 in Minneapolis, MN. Newly elected board members at large include Mark Friedberg MD from the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto; Piers Barker MD, FASE from Duke University Medical Center; and Joe Kreeger RDCS, RCCS, FASE from Children’s Healthcare in Atlanta, GA. In addition, I would personally like to thank several members of the council as they complete their service: Peter Frommelt MD, FASE, Mark Lewin MD, FASE, Carrie Altman MD, FASE, and Helen Ko RDCS, RSMS, FASE.

The ASE Scientific Sessions in Montreal were a resounding success. I would like to congratulate pediatric program chair Mark Lewin MD, FASE, and co-chair Will Border MD for organizing a tremendous program that was comprehensive, educational, and entertaining. Special recognition is also well deserved for this year’s Founder’s Award recipient, James Huhta MD, FASE, for his remarkable contributions to the fields of echocardiography, perinatal cardiology, and pediatric cardiology over the past three decades. The council again awarded this year a travel grant to the ASE Scientific Sessions. Similar to previous years, this was a very competitive process with the winner being Jarrod Knudson MD, PhD from Texas Children’s Hospital. Congratulations to him and to all of this year’s exceptionally qualified applicants.

I plan to use these periodic council communications to highlight some of our council’s important initiatives. The publication of an important recent guideline for LV quantification in pediatric echocardiography in the Journal of the American Society of Echocardiography highlights the importance of accurate and reproducible measurements in echocardiography. These measurements are not only important clinically, but are foundational to clinical research studies involving medical or surgical therapies.

Historically, there has been wide variation in the nomenclature of cardiovascular structures and in the methodology for pediatric echocardiographic measurements, precluding establishment of a common pediatric Z-score database. The Pediatric Z-Score Database Project proposal, headed by Leo Lopez MD, FASE, Wyman Lai MD, MPH, FASE, and Steven Colan MD, aims to prospectively establish a database of common two-dimensional, M-mode, and Doppler echocardiographic measurements performed in a normal population of children from multiple geographic areas. The major hypothesis of this study is that echocardiographic measurements in children are affected by body size, age, gender, and race and must therefore be adjusted for these parameters in order to establish normal reference values. There are several goals for this study: (1) establishment of Z-scores for commonly performed pediatric measurements obtained by two-dimensional, M-mode, and Doppler echocardiography and adjusted for body size, age, gender, and race; (2) accurate thresholds for normal and abnormal measurements in children; (3) establish the utility of both gender and race in the designation or definition of specific disease states; (4) improved identification of the adverse effects of certain disease states on the sizes of cardiovascular structures in children; (5) better clinical management of children with congenital and acquired heart diseases; and (6) increased research activities in pediatric cardiology by providing established reference values adjusted for body size, age, gender, and race. This and other initiatives within our council are exceeding important as we move forward both clinically and academically within our field. I look forward to sharing the progress of this project and our other initiatives with you over the next two years.

In conclusion, I anticipate that this will be a very productive time ahead for the Council on Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease. There are many ways for you to get involved in our council or in ASE. Please do not hesitate to let me, or my co-chair Leo Lopez, know if you would like to participate within our council, its various committees, or in other activities within the American Society of Echocardiography. We look forward to hearing your ideas, thoughts, and requests for participation in our important ongoing efforts.

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Jun 11, 2018 | Posted by in CARDIOLOGY | Comments Off on Update on Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease Council Activities and Directions for the Future

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