by John R. Fischer
, Senior Reporter | February 21, 2020
The Mount Sinai Health System has established a new center dedicated to supporting the growing population of adults born with congenital heart disease.
The aim of the Adult Congenital Heart Disease Center (ACHD Center) at Mount Sinai Heart is to provide medical and surgical support to adults with all forms of congenital heart disease, which is the number one birth defect in the U.S. and affects nearly one out of 100 babies annually.
"Our center will leverage the expertise of Mount Sinai Heart, while providing seamless and expert care to patients born with cardiovascular malformations who are surviving well into adulthood and require a constellation of well-coordinated, expert services,” said Dr. Valentin Fuster, director of Mount Sinai Heart and physician-in-chief of The Mount Sinai Hospital, in a statement. “The center will bring these services under one roof to ensure lifelong surveillance and specialized care."
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Scientific advances over the last 40 years have enabled 90 percent of all patients to reach adulthood, and 1.4 million adults are alive today with some form of congenital heart disease. Despite this large number, 90 percent of these adults lack the care needed to avoid sudden and severe health issues.
The Mount Sinai ACHD Center is offering a number of services to address this challenge, including dedicated reproductive health, fertility management, and high-risk pregnancy care for women with congenital heart disease; transition of care for adolescent patients with congenital heart disease; and neurocognitive care to address long-term cognitive difficulties of the adult patient with congenital heart disease.
It also offers full cardiopulmonary exercise testing, right heart catheterization with vasoreactivity testing, advanced cardiovascular imaging, transcatheter congenital structural interventions, and dedicated adult congenital heart surgery.
Another resource is the center’s dedicated Fontan Clinic for adults with single-ventricle Fontan physiology. This includes comprehensive evaluation, screening, and clinical care in a multi-disciplinary care model, and makes it one of a small group of centers in the U.S. with a dedicated survivorship program for adults with single-ventricle Fontan physiology.
"The Fontan procedure refers to the final repair in a multi-stage open-heart surgery to rebuild the heart and reroute blood flow,” Dr. Ali N. Zaidi, director of the Mount Sinai ACHD Center, said in a statement. “While single-ventricle survivors are now living longer lives as a result of improvements to Fontan palliation, it is common for them to experience long-term effects of poor blood circulation to the organ systems. To optimize their health, we have designed a program to ensure constant monitoring, expert coordination across multiple specialty lines, and a careful transition of care from adolescence to adulthood that is thoughtfully managed.”
Carrying over a decade of experience in the field of adult congenital heart disease, Dr. Zaidi is the only physician in New York State trained and board certified in adult congenital heart disease, adult cardiology, pediatric cardiology, internal medical and pediatrics. He is leading a team of specialists, hepatologists, nutritionists, cardiac imagers, and mental health and social workers who work together in a single setting.
The Mount Sinai Pulmonary Hypertension and the Mount Sinai Advanced Heart Failure Transplant teams will help the center to care for ACHD patients with pulmonary hypertension and those in need of cardiac transplants. The Mount Sinai ACHD Center will also have access to the latest clinical trials and research for advancing diagnosis and treatment of adult patients with all forms of congenital heart disease and its long term symptoms.