NCHDA data submission: clinical guide on the definition of “congenital”
Paediatric cardiac surgical or interventional procedures are defined as any cardiac or intrathoracic great vessel procedure carried out in patients under the age of 16 years.
Adult congenital cardiac procedures are defined as those performed for a cardiac defect present from birth. This does NOT include surgery or therapeutic catheterisation for degenerative disease such as aortic aneurysm or dissection or mitral valve surgery even if associated with hereditary conditions such as Marfan’s syndrome or other connective tissue diseases. Aortic valve disease requiring treatment in adult life is always a dilemma, as many patients have had some aortic valve anomaly from birth. As suggested by the SCTS some years ago, it seems reasonable to suggest that as a general practical cutoff patients under the age of 30 years who have aortic valve procedures should be regarded as having congenital heart disease but those over the age of 30 should be regarded as having degenerative valve disease unless they have had previous treatment for aortic stenosis during childhood.
Patent foramen ovale is present from birth and PFO closure therefore falls within the remit of the National Congenital Audit
All paediatric and adult congenital procedures should be submitted to the National Congenital Audit, others to the relevant adult national clinical audit databases.