Adult Congenital Heart Disease. The use of ECMO in pediatric patients.
Adult Congenital Heart Disease. The use of ECMO in pediatric patients.

Adult Congenital Heart Disease. The use of ECMO in pediatric patients.

  • Faculty: Program director Joseph Basha, CCP
  • Date: October 5th, 2018 9:00 am
  • CEU’s: 1.14 CEUs
  • Price: $17.1
  • Category 1 SDCE CEU
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Course description

Thomas MacGillivray, MD and Mr. Curt Shelley, MEd, RRT-NPS lecture and discuss congenital heart disease and adulthood. 


In this comprehensive lecture, we delve into the complexities of congenital heart disease (CHD) in adults and the evolving landscape of Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) in pediatric patients. Dr. Joe McGilvery, an esteemed cardiac surgeon, offers an in-depth exploration of these critical topics, highlighting advances in diagnosis, treatment, and long-term management. This lecture is a valuable resource for perfusionists, cardiologists, and healthcare professionals involved in the care of patients with congenital heart disease, providing insights into both historical progress and current best practices.

Understanding Congenital Heart Disease

Congenital heart disease, a condition present at birth, encompasses a wide range of structural heart anomalies. Historically, survival rates for infants born with complex CHD were alarmingly low. Dr. McGilvery notes that in earlier decades, survival to adulthood was less than 15%. However, thanks to significant advancements in neonatal and pediatric cardiac surgery and cardiology, the survival rate for these patients has increased dramatically. Today, about 90% of children born with complex CHD are expected to reach adulthood.

Progress in Pediatric Cardiac Surgery

The lecture underscores the remarkable strides made in pediatric cardiac surgery. Early interventions focused on palliating heart disease by manipulating the physiology of infants and children. For instance, the use of pulmonary artery bands to control pulmonary blood flow and various shunt procedures to address cyanosis were common practices. Over time, the field has shifted towards reparative and corrective surgeries, aiming to anatomically reconstruct the heart while minimizing residual lesions.

Challenges in Adult Congenital Heart Disease

As more children with CHD survive into adulthood, a new set of challenges has emerged. Adults with CHD may present with complications from their original surgeries, new congenital defects, or acquired heart diseases. Dr. McGilvery highlights that many adults believe they are "cured" and do not seek regular cardiological follow-up, leading to unexpected presentations of cardiac issues. This underscores the importance of lifelong monitoring and management for individuals with CHD.

Reparative vs. Corrective Surgery

Dr. McGilvery differentiates between reparative and corrective surgeries. Reparative surgeries address anatomical defects but often leave behind residual issues that require ongoing management. For example, a ventricular septal defect (VSD) might be closed, but the patient may still develop stenosis or calcification in the conduits used. Corrective surgeries, on the other hand, aim to fix the problem entirely. However, as Dr. McGilvery points out, even these procedures can have long-term implications, necessitating careful follow-up.

Common Congenital Heart Defects in Adults

The lecture provides a detailed examination of common congenital heart defects that persist into adulthood. Tetralogy of Fallot and transposition of the great arteries are highlighted as two of the most prevalent cyanotic heart lesions. These conditions require complex surgical interventions, and patients often need additional procedures later in life. Dr. McGilvery explains the intricate anatomy and surgical approaches used to treat these defects, emphasizing the need for specialized care in adult congenital heart disease centers.

The Role of ECMO in Pediatric Patients

Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) has become a vital tool in managing pediatric patients with severe cardiac and respiratory failure. Dr. McGilvery discusses the indications, techniques, and outcomes associated with ECMO in children. He highlights the importance of ECMO as a bridge to recovery or further surgical interventions, noting its success in improving survival rates for critically ill pediatric patients.

Advancements in Imaging and Diagnostics

Modern imaging techniques have revolutionized the diagnosis and management of CHD. High-resolution imaging allows for precise anatomical assessments, aiding in surgical planning and follow-up care. Dr. McGilvery emphasizes the role of advanced imaging in detecting residual lesions and guiding interventions, ensuring that patients receive the most accurate and effective treatments.

Case Studies and Clinical Insights

Throughout the lecture, Dr. McGilvery shares case studies and clinical insights, illustrating the complexities of managing CHD in both pediatric and adult populations. He discusses the nuances of various surgical approaches, potential complications, and the importance of a multidisciplinary team in providing comprehensive care. These real-world examples offer valuable lessons for healthcare professionals involved in the care of CHD patients.

Future Directions in CHD and ECMO

Looking ahead, Dr. McGilvery explores future directions in the treatment of congenital heart disease and the use of ECMO. He discusses emerging technologies, such as ventricular assist devices and total artificial hearts, which hold promise for improving outcomes in patients with severe heart failure. Additionally, advancements in genetic research and regenerative medicine may pave the way for novel therapies and personalized care strategies.


In conclusion, this lecture provides a thorough exploration of congenital heart disease and the use of ECMO in pediatric patients. Dr. McGilvery's expertise and insights offer valuable guidance for healthcare professionals dedicated to improving the lives of individuals with CHD. As advancements in medical science continue to evolve, ongoing education and collaboration are essential to addressing the complex needs of this growing patient population.

0:00 Adult Congenital Heart Disease. Survival to Adulthood 
2:13 Congenital Heart Surgery Goals 5:33 Adult Congenital Heart Disease 
11:13 D-Transposition of the Great Arteries 
 #perfusion #ECMO #criticalcare 
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Meet Your Instructor

Program director Joseph Basha, CCP

Program director Joseph Basha, CCP

Joseph has been a practicing clinical perfusionist for 40 years. Joseph is the CEO of Houston Extracorporeal Technologies and is the program director of The New Orleans Conference

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