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Tetralogy of Fallot: epidemiology meets real-world management: lessons from the Baltimore-Washington Infant Study*

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 January 2014

Melanie Nies*
Division of Pediatric Cardiology, Johns Hopkins Hospital, United States of America
Joel I. Brenner
Taussig Heart Center, Division of Pediatric Cardiology, Johns Hopkins Hospital, United States of America
Correspondence to: Dr. Melanie Nies, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg Children's Center, Taussig Heart Center, 1800 Orleans St, Rm 2328, Baltimore MD 21287. E-mail:


Decades ago, mass-scale epidemiologic studies were undertaken to accurately describe the prevalence of congenital heart disease and associated malformations, and to identify inheritance patterns, teratogenic influence and aetiologic underpinnings. Despite phenomenal breakthroughs in molecular diagnosis of congenital heart disease, original population-based studies for detailed knowledge of prevalence, associated malformations, and appropriate patient and family counselling remain invaluable to the armamentarium and knowledge base of paediatric cardiologists. No modern-era studies have supplanted the importance of the Baltimore-Washington Infant Study undertaken from 1981 to 1989. In this article, we reprise the findings of the Baltimore-Washington Infant Study in tetralogy of Fallot, as well as to review current molecular diagnosis.

Original Article
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2013 

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Presented at “The Birth of Heart Surgery: Lessons Learned from Tetralogy – Past, Present and Future” Dinner Symposium Sponsored by Johns Hopkins Medicine and All Children's Hospital, Thursday, February 21, 2013, at The Sixth World Congress of Paediatric Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery, Cape Town International Convention Centre, Cape Town, South Africa, February 17–22, 2013. A video of this presentation can be viewed at the following hyperlink: [].


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