Don't skip a beat! Critical findings in imaging studies performed in adults with congenital heart disease

Caroline Robb, M. Zak Rajput, Demetrios Raptis, Sanjeev Bhalla

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


With ongoing advances in both medical and surgical management, the population of adults with congenital heart disease (CHD) continues to grow each year and has surpassed the number of pediatric cases. These adult patients will present to adult emergency departments with increasing frequency. Adults with CHD are at increased risk of developing not only cardiovascular complications, such as aortic dissection and thromboemboli, but also abdominopelvic and neurologic processes at younger ages. These individuals are also more likely to develop less urgent but clinically significant complications including end-organ dysfunction, baffle leaks, or bleeding collateral vessels. Ultimately, imaging can play a critical role in determining the triage, diagnosis, and management of adult CHD patients. To accomplish this goal, radiologists must be able to distinguish acute and chronic complications of treated CHD from benign processes, including expected post-surgical changes or imaging artifacts. Radiologists also need to be familiar with the various long-term risks and complications associated with both treated and untreated forms of CHD, particularly those in adults with complex lesions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)297-307
Number of pages11
JournalCurrent Problems in Diagnostic Radiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2024


  • Adult congenital heart disease
  • Computed tomography
  • Emergency
  • Imaging protocols
  • Postsurgical complications


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