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ISHLT Joint Session at American Heart Association Scientific Sessions

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Heather T. Henderson, MD
Medical University of South Carolina
Mt. Pleasant, SC, USA

In October 2014, I wrote of the progress in the field of pediatric heart failure and highlighted the creation of the American Heart Association's (AHA) Cardiovascular disease in the Young (CVDY) pediatric heart failure subcommittee. As previously stated, the goal of this committee is to support the mission of the CVDY council to "improve the health of children with heart failure or cardiomyopathy through research, education, prevention, advocacy and quality improvement." The committee is supported by members of the CVDY council and from other councils within the American Heart Association, including a liaison with the ISHLT. The committee focuses on education and programming dedicated to pediatric heart failure for AHA scientific sessions and other conferences. The group continues to explore opportunities to develop scientific statements and open the doors for collaboration with other pediatric heart failure groups.

In keeping with the goal to collaborate with other pediatric organizations, this past November at the annual AHA Scientific Sessions in Anaheim, CA, there was a very successful AHA/ISHLT Joint Session entitled Long Term Outlook of Children After Heart Transplant: Do They "Live Happily Ever After" as in Fairy Tales? It was well attended with over 130 of the 150 chairs filled with standing space only in the back of the room! To start the session, Dr. Richard Chinnock (pediatric transplant cardiologist at Loma Linda University) discussed how children differ in their long-term outcomes compared to adults. Dr. Jeffrey Platt (transplant immunology, University of Michigan) then presented on "The Ultimate Matching Game: Cohabitating between the donor heart and recipient". Following, Dr. Elfriede Pahl (pediatric transplant cardiologist at Lurie Children's in Chicago) discussed some of the challenges faced in dealing with children and teens after transplant with a talk on "What Aches the Human Heart: Sex, Drugs, Rejection-and-Roll." Dr. Jonathan Johnson (pediatric transplant cardiologist at Mayo Clinic) then shared his knowledge of coronary artery disease after pediatric heart transplantation. The session talks concluded appropriately with an excellent discussion from adult congenital/heart failure cardiologist, Dr. April Stempien-Otero (University of Washington), on the difficulties with transitions and being a young adult with a heart transplant. The audience members were able to submit questions electronically throughout the session for the moderators to pose to the speakers, and there was positive feedback on the topics and talks from the audience.

Collaboration is a key element in improving the science of pediatric heart failure. The joint session between the AHA and the ISHLT is just one example of how we can work together to expand knowledge of pediatric heart failure and transplantation across both groups. ■

Disclosure Statement: The author has no conflicts of interest to disclose.

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