Extracardiac Complications in Adults with Congenital Heart Disease


Corresponding Author: Scott Cohen, MD, The Wisconsin Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program (WatCH), Medical College of Wisconsin, 9000 W. Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee, WI 53226, USA. Tel: 414-266-6784; Fax: 414-266-3261; E-mail: scohen@chw.org


With the increasing number of adults living with repaired, or unrepaired, congenital heart disease, there is a growing incidence of extracardiac comorbidities. These comorbidities can affect various organ systems in complex ways, and may have a significant impact on a patient's quality of life and survival. Many of these potential complications may go undiagnosed until there is already a significant bearing on the patient's life. Therefore, it is important for physicians who care for the adult congenital patient to be mindful of these potential extracardiac complications, and actively assess for these complications in their adult congenital practice. Continued research to identify modifiable risk factors is needed so that both preventative and therapeutic management options for these extracardiac complications may be developed.