2020: The Year in Review: The Adult Congenital and Pediatric Cardiology (ACPC) Perspective

The new decade began with anticipation, but little did we know that we would be blind-sided by events yet unseen by the modern world. The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in global perturbation, with unprecedented duress of worldwide healthcare and academic medical systems and cancelation of all travel including the Summer Olympics and all professional meetings. The upheaval resulted in pharmaceutical and equipment shortages even in previously resource-adequate systems, cancelation of elective medical visits and procedures, "repurposing" of personnel and units, and the rapid shift to virtual medical conferences,  online learning and telemedicine. Now that the vaccine is a reality, many questions still remain and the post-pandemic future is still uncertain, especially with the emergence of new viral strains.

Undoubtedly, the number one topic for 2020 was the COVID-19 pandemic. At the trenches, ACC.org was quick to curate information and practical guidance to facilitate dissemination of new research and clinical perspectives. The impact of COVID-19 in children and in those with congenital heart disease (CHD) was unknown. At the onset, children were felt to be relatively spared the devastating effects of COVID-19, but new disease processes unique to children quickly became evident, and social determinants of health and racial disparities became the elephant in the room. Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children became a perplexing paradigm. The world came together in an attempt to discern the best way to diagnose and treat this unknown entity. Both adults and children with CHD became a unique population that merit special considerations. The long-term effects of COVID-19 and how to best deal with them, especially in athletes, are still to be ascertained. How to continue the practice of cardiovascular medicine in the midst of a pandemic continues to present challenges. Women in Cardiology (WIC) are once again called to juggle roles not inherently demanded from their male colleagues. This alludes to the history of pediatric cardiology itself.

But even while the world is busy dealing with the pandemic, cardiovascular disease does not take a pause. Life goes on, as does the need for education. As the professional home for the Adult Congenital and Pediatric Cardiology (ACPC) cardiovascular team, we at ACC.org strive to provide a thoughtfully curated, relevant collection for your clinical practice. One of the maturing trends in clinical medicine is that of shared decision making, especially in the management of difficult disease entities such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and valvular heart disease, (spotlighting less invasive therapy). Novel transcatheter therapies including ICD placement in children with complex CHD, and home interstage monitoring for patients with single ventricle, as well as transition programs from pediatric to adult congenital cardiac care, are becoming more mainstream. The importance of physical fitness in CHD, the risks for mental health of both children and their care providers, and evolving therapies for Fontan failure, are coming to light. As the number of adults with CHD increases, our knowledge regarding best practices for the management of these women who become pregnant continue to improve outcomes.

Across the pond, our European colleagues have published guidelines for sports participation and the care of adults with CHD.

As always, we are pleased that many have volunteered content for publishing on our website. Please contact Christi Plaster at cplaster@acc.org to propose topics for discussion or submit interesting cases for digital publication.

It is an honor to be the digital home for the ACPC. On behalf of Arwa Saidi, MB, B.Ch., FACC, Chair of the ACPC Council, and Ami B. Bhatt, MD, FACC and Robert "Jake" D.B. Jaquiss, MD, FACC, Associate Editorial Team Leads of the Congenital Heart Disease and Pediatric Cardiology Clinical Topic Collection, we wish you a Happy New Year! Cheers to new beginnings in 2021!

Clinical Topics: Congenital Heart Disease and Pediatric Cardiology, Heart Failure and Cardiomyopathies, Sports and Exercise Cardiology, Valvular Heart Disease, Congenital Heart Disease, CHD and Pediatrics and Prevention, CHD and Pediatrics and Quality Improvement, Sports and Exercise and Congenital Heart Disease and Pediatric Cardiology

Keywords: Heart Defects, Congenital, Pediatrics, COVID-19, Cardiovascular Diseases, Education, Distance, Mental Health, Pandemics, Decision Making, Social Determinants of Health, Sports, Cardiovascular System, Heart Valve Diseases, Cardiomyopathy, Hypertrophic, Physical Fitness, Delivery of Health Care, Clinical Medicine, Telemedicine, Vaccines, Pharmaceutical Preparations


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