Heart failure (HF) in adult congenital heart disease (ACHD) is vastly different to that observed in acquired heart disease. Unlike acquired HF in which pharmacological strategies are the cornerstone for protecting and improving ventricular function, ACHD-related HF relies heavily upon structural and other interventions to achieve these aims. patients with ACHD constitute a small percentage of the total adult heart transplant population (∼3%), although the number of ACHD heart transplant recipients is growing rapidly with a 40% increase over the last two decades. The worldwide experience to date has confirmed heart transplantation as an effective life-extending treatment option in carefully selected patients with ACHD with end-stage cardiac disease. Opportunities for improving outcomes in patients with ACHD-related HF include (i) earlier recognition and referral to centres with combined expertise in ACHD and HF, (ii) increased awareness of arrhythmia and sudden cardiac death risk in this population, (iii) greater collaboration between HF and ACHD specialists at the time of heart transplant assessment, (iv) expert surgical planning to reduce ischaemic time and bleeding risk at the time of transplant, (v) tailored immunosuppression in the post-transplant period and (vi) development and validation of ACHD-specific risk scores to predict mortality and guide patient selection. The purpose of this article is to review current approaches to diagnosing and treating advanced HF in patients with ACHD including indications, contraindications and clinical outcomes after heart transplantation.
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