Compliance with Adult Congenital Heart Disease Guidelines: Are We Following the Recommendations?

Jennifer F. Gerardin, Jeremiah S. Menk, Lee A. Pyles, Cindy M. Martin, Jamie L. Lohr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Objective: As the adult congenital heart disease population increases, poor transition from pediatric to adult care can lead to suboptimal quality of care and an increase in individual and institutional costs. In 2008, the American College of Cardiology and American Heart Association updated the adult congenital heart disease practice guidelines and in 2011, the American Heart Association recommended transition guidelines to standardize and encourage appropriate timing of transition to adult cardiac services. The objective of this study was to evaluate if patient age or complexity of congenital heart disease influences pediatric cardiologists’ decision to transfer care to adult providers and to evaluate the compliance of different types of cardiology providers with current adult congenital heart disease treatment guidelines. Design: A single-center retrospective review of 991 adult congenital heart disease patients identified by ICD-9 code from 2010 to 2012. Setting: Academic and community outpatient cardiology clinics. Patients: Nine hundred ninety-one patients who are 18 years and older with congenital heart disease. Intervention: None. Outcomes measures: The compliance with health maintenance and transfer of care recommendations in the outpatient setting. Results: For patients seen by pediatric cardiologists, only 20% had transfer of care discussions documented, most often in younger simple patients. Significant differences in compliance with preventative health guidelines were found between cardiology provider types. Conclusion: Even though a significant number of adults with congenital heart disease are lost to appropriate follow-up in their third and fourth decades of life, pediatric cardiologists discussed transfer of care with moderate and complex congenital heart disease patients less frequently. Appropriate transfer of adults with congenital heart disease to an adult congenital cardiologist provides an opportunity to reinforce the importance of regular follow-up in adulthood and may improve outcomes as adult congenital cardiologists followed the adult congenital heart disease guidelines more consistently than pediatric or adult cardiologists.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)245-253
Number of pages9
JournalCongenital Heart Disease
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2016


  • Adult Congenital Heart Disease
  • Pediatric Cardiology
  • Preventive Care
  • Transfer of Care
  • Transition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Surgery
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Compliance with Adult Congenital Heart Disease Guidelines: Are We Following the Recommendations?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this