Over the past 50 years, paediatric cardiology has developed as a subspeciality of paediatrics linked to adult cardiology and cardiovascular (CV) surgery. It deals with diseases of the heart and the circulation in growing individuals and patients with congenital CV malformations and acquired CV disease (CVD) from foetal life to adolescent and adult age. Worldwide, 800 to 1,000 per 100,000 newborns are affected by a congenital CV malformation. One-third of these infants need hospitalisation and one or more cardiologic or surgical interventions directly after birth. An increasing number of all affected patients will need medical, catheter interventional or surgical treatments. Lifelong follow-up is necessary in a majority of these patients.
Szatmári A, Oberhänsli-Weiss I. European Cardiology 2005;1:70-2