Imaging of congenital heart disease in adults

Eur Heart J. 2016 Apr 14;37(15):1182-95. doi: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehv519. Epub 2015 Sep 29.


Imaging is fundamental to the lifelong care of adult congenital heart disease (ACHD) patients. Echocardiography remains the first line imaging for inpatient, outpatient, or perioperative care. Cross-sectional imaging with cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) or computed tomography (CT) provides complementary and invaluable information on cardiac and vascular anatomy and other intra-thoracic structures. Furthermore, CMR provides quantification of cardiac function and vascular flow. Cardiac catheterization is mostly reserved for assessment of pulmonary vascular resistance, ventricular end-diastolic pressure, and percutaneous interventions. There have been further advances in non-invasive imaging for ACHD including the application of advanced echocardiographic techniques, faster automated CMR imaging, and radiation dose reduction in CT. As a result ACHD, a heterogeneous population, benefit from appropriate application of multiple imaging modalities matched with tertiary ACHD expertise.

Keywords: Chest X-ray; Computed tomography; Congenital heart disease; Echocardiography; Imaging; Magnetic resonance imaging.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aftercare / methods
  • Cardiac Imaging Techniques / methods*
  • Echocardiography / methods
  • Fontan Procedure / methods
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / diagnostic imaging*
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / surgery
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Angiography / methods
  • Multimodal Imaging / methods
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods