Congenital heart disease (CHD) has a prevalence of 8.2 per 1000 live births and is a leading cause of infant morbidity and mortality.

Prenatal diagnosis plays an essential role in improving neonatal outcomes, particularly for certain types of cardiac lesions, by facilitating timely interventions. However, the rates of prenatal detection vary widely by geographic region and CHD type, with less than half of all cardiac anomalies being identified before birth.

Effective fetal cardiac screening should aim to maximize the detection of structural anomalies, as well as abnormalities of function and rhythm. This comprehensive approach should be integrated into routine prenatal care to optimize management and improve outcomes for affected pregnancies.

It is important for obstetricians, sonographers, and midwives to learn new approaches in investigation survellience to identify foetuses at risk of adverse cardiac complications. This ensures a patient journey that includes "detailed counselling and timely delivery with family support in the optimal medical environment," as emphasised by Prof. Simon Meagher.

The 'ISUOG Fetal Cardiology Conference', in Dublin, Ireland, will delve deep into fetal heart exploration, featuring lively discussions and a variety of dynamic lectures on the latest in cardiac imaging, screening, and diagnosis. Course lead, Prof. Meagher, highlights what attendees can expect to learn: 

"Along with live scanning and many real-time instructional videos, the course will help mature the pattern recognition process in pre- and post-natal cardiac imaging and then guide participants through the ongoing pathway of patient care to delivery and post-natal management.’’

Overall, Prof. Meagher emphasises how this course will provide ''an improved understanding of the pathophysiological process of fetal cardiac malformation, a better understanding on the optional scanning technique to improve prenatal cardiac diagnosis, and an understanding of the management pathways including counselling patients and their families.’’

This two-day course, live in Dublin on 13 and 14 July 2024, will provide attendees with plenty of opportunities to learn from the best in the field.  Also, in addition to face-to-face networking with their peers, attendees will see Prof. Meagher perform a live demonstration of first- and second-trimester scans. 

Registrations for on-site attendance closes on 5 July. 

Those attending in-person will have the chance to experience the vibrant charm of Ireland's capital city and discover its unique Irish allure if they haven’t already.

For those unable to join the course in-person, virtual registration will remain open. And if those registered can’t make it on the day, there will be access to the course recordings for two months after it ends.  

This is a great opportunity to improve fetal heart assessment skills and explore new approaches to identifying fetuses at risk of developing cardiac complications.

Register here.


ISUOG Practice Guidelines: UOG Volume 61, Issue 6, Date: June 2023, Pages 788-803


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