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Reflections on the past, present and future of pediatric cardiology

  • Julien I. E. Hoffman (a1)


About 1.5 million children are born each year world-wide with congenital heart disease. The nine most frequently occurring lesions are patency of the arterial duct (ductus arteriosus), atrial septal defect within the oval fossa, atrioventricular septal defect, ventricular septal defect, coarctation of the aorta, valvar pulmonary stenosis, valvar aortic stenosis, tetralogy of Fallot, and complete transposition. Their natural history is presented and compared with representative results of surgical treatment. Surgery has markedly improved the outcome for all these lesions, although almost no patients have been followed postoperatively for more than 25 years. Because congenital heart lesions are likely to consume an increasing proportion of cardiological resources in future years, the long-term future in this field rests with prevention of these lesions if at all possible. Recent advances in molecular and developmental biology, some of which are discussed, will certainly aid in diagnosis and may well bring the time at which prevention can be achieved closer to reality.


Corresponding author

Dr. Julien l.E.Hoffrnan, Box 0544, University of California, San Francisco, CA, 94143, USA. Tel. 415-476-9313; Fax. 415-476-0676.


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Reflections on the past, present and future of pediatric cardiology

  • Julien I. E. Hoffman (a1)


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