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Recent evolutions in pediatric and congenital echocardiography

Heynric B Grotenhuis, Luc L Mertens
Current Opinion in Cardiology 2015, 30 (1): 118-24

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Echocardiography is the first-line diagnostic technique in patients with congenital heart disease. Recent developments include further standardization of pediatric and congenital echocardiography with general-specific and lesion-specific guidelines. New research focuses on clinical validation of echocardiographic quantitative techniques for assessing right ventricular and single ventricular function.

RECENT FINDINGS: Recent guidelines include standardization of pediatric echocardiographic measurements and description of utilization of imaging techniques in patients diagnosed with tetralogy of Fallot. Description of resource utilization and organizational standards, including systems for quality assurance, are important tools for improving the diagnostic quality of pediatric echocardiographic laboratories. We highlight interesting new research on the echocardiographic assessment of right ventricular function in patients after tetralogy of Fallot repair, patients with single-ventricle physiology and pediatric cardiomyopathies.

SUMMARY: Pediatric and congenital echocardiography is evolving as an important specific area within echocardiography. It is developing its own standards and quality control, and research in this field focuses on development of more quantitative methods for assessing ventricular function.

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