In the past 20 years, considerable change has occurred in the profile of congenital heart disease regarding both diagnosis and treatment. The profile has changed from older to younger patients; the essence of this change has been from pediatric to infant to neonatal cardiology. There has been a shift from palliative to more definitive surgical procedures and a change from invasive (cardiac catheterization) to noninvasive (echocardiography) diagnostic methods. The profile has changed from definitive surgical treatment limited to simple lesions to surgical treatment of the most complex lesions.
There has been steady improvement in the recognition of cases of congenital heart disease. Of all children admitted to hospitals for treatment of congenital heart disease, the portion less than three days of age has increased from 24% in 1969 to 1972 to 33% in 1982 to 1986.
- Received December 9, 1988.
- Accepted December 9, 1988.
- Copyright © 1989 by the American Academy of Pediatrics