And That's a Wrap! ACC.24: An ACPC Perspective

Quick Takes

  • ACC.24 provided opportunities for in-person collaboration and dissemination of cutting-edge research for the Adult Congenital and Pediatric Cardiology (ACPC) community.
  • Diversity in the congenital cardiology workforce is critical in advancing our field.
  • Changes in pediatric residency and the future congenital cardiology workforce are coming – are we prepared?

The American College of Cardiology Scientific Sessions 2024 (ACC.24), building on the successes and lessons of past gatherings, marked a significant return to in-person collaboration and learning for the Adult Congenital and Pediatric Cardiology (ACPC) community. As we continue to navigate the post-pandemic era, the sense of community and the eagerness for direct engagement were palpable, highlighting the invaluable benefits of face-to-face interactions for professional growth, networking, and exchange of ideas. This year's conference not only reflected the resilience of the ACPC community but also its commitment to advancing patient care through shared knowledge and experiences.

ACPC Community Day
The ACC.24 Community Day, led by Dr. Ritu Sachdeva, featured discussions on pivotal changes in pediatric residency training (hint: less intensive care unit, more out-patient experience – how will this impact our current coverage?), the future of the pediatric cardiology workforce from the fellowship directors' perspective (hint: less medical student interest in pediatrics – how will this affect the pipeline of cardiology fellows?), and strategies to enhance the quality and number of trained professionals caring for adult congenital heart disease (ACHD) patients. These sessions, hosted by experts like Drs. Rebecca Sanders, Lowell Frank, and Ali Zaidi, spotlighted crucial developments in training and workforce management, setting a tone for our field's future.

Scientific Sessions
The ACC.24 Scientific Sessions showcased a myriad of topics, from the importance of diversity in the cardiology workforce to groundbreaking surgical techniques in congenital heart disease (CHD). Interactive sessions, discussion panels on the challenges of managing pregnancy in CHD, debates on perinatal management, and conundrums in ACHD were highlights of this year's meeting. Workshops for young professionals emphasized career development, while sessions on non-clinical skills addressed broader aspects of cardiology practice and wellness in the CHD physician. All these reflect the ongoing commitment to innovation, inclusivity, and education in our field.

The session on "Valvular Heart Surgery in Complex CHD"1 delved into the nuances of managing Ebstein anomaly and repairing the mitral and aortic valves as well as the enduring role of surgical pulmonary valve replacement despite the mainstream availability of transcatheter techniques.

The "Game of Shones" session,2 led by a panel of experts acting as co-chairs, case presenters, contestants, and judges, featured fun, lively competitive discussions regarding the diagnosis, "un"natural history, and management of this complex disease from the neonatal period to adulthood. Not only did this session facilitate learning through competition, but it also underscored the importance of collaboration in the challenges of managing CHD.

Dr. Anne Marie Valente gave an excellent summary of the past year's advancements in congenital cardiology in her inspiring "Year in Review" presentation.3 This was followed by "Highlighted Original Research" of this year's top five submitted abstracts: a multicenter experience with sodium-glucose co-transporter-2 inhibitors for heart failure in ACHD; a scoring system to predict sudden death in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy utilizing clinical and imaging variables; a multi-institutional study looking at clinical and demographic variables to predict neurocognitive decline in ACHD; a study exploring the utility of artificial intelligence (AI) in electrocardiogram analysis to predict mortality in tetralogy of Fallot; and a study utilizing statistical modeling for risk stratification in patients with anomalous origin of the right coronary artery. Congratulations to all these innovative researchers for their cutting-edge work!

The session "Pregnancy in Congenital Heart Disease: High Risk, High Reward!"4 moderated by Dr. Candice Silversides, editor of JACC Advances, provided valuable insights into the heightened risks associated with pregnancy in CHD while offering management strategies.

There were multiple poster sessions from basic and translational science to clinical and population studies, many contributed by our fellows-in-training. Especially engaging were the moderated poster sessions on "advances in single ventricle care", "unique investigations in congenital heart anatomy and function", and AI.

McNamara Lecture
The Dan G. McNamara keynote5 at ACC.24 was given by Dr. Josephine Isabel-Jones, who played a pivotal role in promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion within the ACPC workforce with her enduring legacy. She emphasized the critical importance of diversity in advancing our field, now one of the pillars of the ACC strategic plan.

ACPC Section Meeting
Also well attended was the ACPC Member Section meeting which celebrated the past year's achievements of the section work groups: Cardiology Chiefs, Fellowship Training Directors, Education, Advocacy, AI, Quality, Women in Cardiology, and Publication/Communication. We are grateful for the leadership of Dr. Ritu Sachdeva, our Section Chair. The ACPC Member Section aims to be your professional ACC home, and there truly are multiple ways to be involved.

We look forward to ACC.25 with Drs. Anna Kamp and Ali Zaidi leading the ACPC sessions and are hoping for continued member engagement and involvement. See you in Chicago in 2025!

PS: If you were unable to make it to Atlanta, check out "ACC Anywhere" and don't forget to claim your ABP MOC Part 4 credit for the sessions you've attended!


  1. From the Surgeon Lens: Valvular Heart Surgery in Complex CHD. Presented at the American College of Cardiology Annual Scientific Session (ACC.24), April 6, 2024.
  2. April Adventure – Game of Shones. Presented at the American College of Cardiology Annual Scientific Session (ACC.24), April 6, 2024.
  3. Year in Review: Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease. Presented by Dr. Anne Marie Valente at the American College of Cardiology Annual Scientific Session (ACC.24), April 7, 2024.
  4. Pregnancy in Congenital Heart Disease: High Risk, High Reward! Presented at the American College of Cardiology Annual Scientific Session (ACC.24), April 7, 2024.
  5. Dan G. McNamara Keynote Lecture: From Civil Rights to Patient Equity – A Legacy of Strength. Presented by Dr. Josephine B. Isabel-Jones at the American College of Cardiology Annual Scientific Session (ACC.24), April 6, 2024.

Clinical Topics: Congenital Heart Disease and Pediatric Cardiology, Congenital Heart Disease

Keywords: ACC Annual Scientific Session, ACC24, Heart Defects, Congenital, Pediatrics

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