New congenital heart disease guideline published

Published 20/10/2022

The British Society of Echocardiography (BSE) is delighted to announce the publication of a new congenital heart disease guideline published in Echo Research and Practice.

Congenital heart defects are diagnosed in at least 1 in 150 births with estimates of between 1-2% of UK population now being affected by some form of congenital heart disease (CHD), ranging from isolated valve defects in the mildest form through to gross structural abnormalities, shunting and chamber absence in the more severe cases. In all forms of CHD, transthoracic echocardiography plays a crucial role in the diagnosis, surveillance and post-surgical follow-up of these patients and has become a sub-speciality field in the practice of cardiac imaging. In recognition of this and in support of the newly developed accreditation process in congenital heart disease, the British Society of Echocardiography (BSE) have developed a guideline for performing a comprehensive transthoracic echocardiogram in patients with CHD. Echocardiography remains the first-line imaging tool within congenital heart disease and is the only imaging tool available at the bedside.

This foundation paper sets the scene for how to approach congenital echocardiography, be it in adult or paediatric settings. With concise and user-friendly graphics and example imagery, the paper guides the reader through the principles of the sequential segmental analysis approach to congenital echocardiography and highlights how to prove and identify the different cardiac structures and their relationships using transthoracic echocardiography.

Mr Shaun Robinson, Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Echo Research and Practice said "This guideline is essential reading for all echocardiographers practising within the field of CHD and will help establish a standardised approach to echocardiography in CHD."

Ms Joanne Sopala, Chief Executive of the BSE said "The BSE would like to thank all authors who contributed to this guideline. Given the pressures facing echocardiographers at the moment it is becoming increasingly difficult for specialists to find the time to carry out vital work to improve the quality of care. Comprehensive guidelines require months of work, usually in the authors’ own time. We are grateful for their generous contribution of time and expertise."

Read the guideline