Heart failure (HF) is the leading cause of death in adults with repaired congenital heart disease (CHD). However there is currently little evidence to guide treatment strategies in this growing group of patients. Unlike the majority of HF, which is usually caused by LV systolic or diastolic dysfunction, CHD-HF is more often a consequence of RV disease, valve dysfunction, shunting or pulmonary hypertension. It is therefore not appropriate to extrapolate from the acquired HF literature and apply it to this heterogeneous population of CHD patients. Additionally, patients with CHD have been excluded from most large trials of medical or device therapy of HF, which has resulted in small retrospective and underpowered studies in the CHD population. This article critically reviews the current knowledge about CHD-HF, paying particular attention to medical therapy in different CHD populations, cardiac resynchronisation therapy and implantable cardiac defibrillators, and the challenges of heart transplantation and mechanical circulatory support in CHD patients.
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