Cardiac CT and MR for Adult Congenital Heart Disease

Book Review by J.F. Paul, Paris, France

 

The number of adults living with congenital heart disease has increased over the past decades thanks to improvements in surgical techniques and peri-operative care. These patients often need follow-up examinations with serial imaging to determine if they require re-operation or if they have had any late complications of treatment. CT and MR images provide comprehensive anatomical and functional information about these patients who often have complex malformations. These imaging techniques are now emerging as the reference examinations, since echocardiography often provides only partial anatomical information, even when done by trained operators. Radiologists must be familiar with the main surgical techniques used to treat congenital heart defects. A deep knowledge of cardiac anatomy and its variants may be sufficient for the non-specialized radiologist to provide an appropriate and relevant report, even in complex cases. On the other hand, discovering a significant congenital anomaly during adulthood is not an uncommon situation, and here the radiologist plays an essential role by disclosing an occult abnormality which may have important prognostic value.

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