Imaging in congenital heart disease working group
The working group focuses on new techniques in cardiovascular imaging, especially in echocardiography. Innovative imaging techniques as 2D speckle tracking, tissue Doppler imaging and 3D echocardiography are validated and transferred into clinical practice, thereby new approaches in the treatment of complex heart disease are developed. The aim is to identify patients at risk and to improve treatment by recognizing optimal timing of therapeutic interventions.
Lately, the working group succeeded in defining left atrial appendage morphology by means of 3D-echocardiography, comparable to cardiac MRI and CT reconstruction (see Figure 1-3). This contributes to risk stratification and facilitates decision-making for patients with atrial fibrillation and thrombembolic events.
One focus is structural and adult congenital heart disease, where the prevention of irreversible myocardial damage is pivotal, and arryhthmia burden is high. New imaging modalities are applied at rest and during exercise, to detect otherwise unrecognized early dysfunction (see Figure 4,5).
Recently, the 6-minute walk test was implemented into routine follow-up for a better assesssment of the patient´s functional status in adult congenital heart disease.
Future approaches also concentrate on valvular disease, and early diastolic dysfunction.