As I write this in early spring, the days are getting longer, and the flowers and trees are blooming. It is a nice time of year to be reporting to you from the Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease Steering Committee. We have been quite active lately. In March 2016, I participated in an Industry Round Table Think Tank with ASE leadership (including ASE Treasurer, Ben Eidem). For two days, industry leaders from ultrasound companies, electronic medical record companies, 3D printing and other display companies as well as companies that manufacture valves congregated in New York to discuss topics such as new display technologies, point of care echocardiography with regard to its use, the training involved and educational opportunities, appropriate use of contrast agents, performance measures, structural heart disease, and data flow and interpretation challenges. The meeting was quite successful, and I was given the opportunity to represent our Council and discuss the industry needs of the pediatric and congenital heart disease community. Industry leaders are very interested in our patient population, particularly as they are aging and growing in numbers. We discussed the need for standardization across platforms of deformation imaging and 3D, the need for non-standard 3D views for congenital heart disease imaging, the need for non-planar cropping tools for 3D and better orientation in 3D space as well as the need for a small 3D TEE probe for pediatric and young adult patients. Also discussed was automation of measurements on echo machines. It was a very productive weekend, and the Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease Steering Committee will have a separate meeting with industry leaders at ASE’s Annual Scientific Sessions in Seattle.
In addition to this meeting, the Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease Steering Committee recently met for a retreat in Chicago just prior to the ACC Scientific Sessions. The group discussed several important issues at the retreat. We discussed the issues regarding assessment of pediatric valve function and the lack of standardization between labs and practitioners and the impact this has on treatments. We also discussed potential new guidelines to propose to ASE. The TGA and 3D Echo in Congenital Heart Disease guidelines should both be published shortly in JASE. The Multimodality Imaging of Coronary Artery Anomalies document now has a writing committee and will start work soon. Other suggestions have been made for the next three-year cycle but have not yet been approved. Another area of discussion at the retreat included the value of cardiovascular ultrasound. Ideas regarding MOC Part 4 modules on Quality Metrics and Appropriate Use Criteria were considered. With regard to cardiovascular technology, areas of discussion included normal strain data in pediatrics and easy and usable means of de-identification of images for research purposes. We also had a conversation about Point of Care echo in pediatrics, where it is going, who are the users, and how can we help educate and assure high quality imaging and accurate interpretation.
The retreat allowed for introduction to these topics, and we plan to continue to work on these issues over the course of the next couple of years. The Steering Committee will meet again in Seattle to discuss progress made in all of these areas. Please don’t hesitate to send me comments or thoughts about what you want to see the Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease Council do for you. We are always open to suggestions. Looking forward to seeing many of you in Seattle. The Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease track as put together by Piers Barker and Mark Friedberg looks outstanding!
Meryl S. Cohen, MD, FASE, FACC, FAHA is a Professor of Pediatrics at the 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 Chair of the Council on Pediatrics and Congenital Heart Disease Steering Committee.