CCU082: Pulmonary arterial hypertension in repaired congenital heart disease: Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on prevalence, late diagnosis and outcomes

Project lead:
Andrew Constantine, Royal Brompton Hospital/Imperial College London

Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a serious condition that often affects people born with heart defects (congenital heart disease, CHD), even after surgery to repair their heart problem. This condition can make it hard for patients to breathe and do physical activities, and it can happen even when heart surgery has been successful. With the recent COVID-19 pandemic, there is concern that more people may be facing this issue, and it might be harder to diagnose and treat them in time, putting them at risk of complications.

Our research aims to dig deeper into how the COVID-19 pandemic has influenced the number of people developing PAH after their CHD is repaired, how quickly they are being diagnosed, and what their outcomes are. By studying data from the National Congenital Heart Disease Audit and other health records, we hope to understand the true scale of this problem and find better ways to manage it. This is especially important now, as the pandemic might have made things worse for these patients.

The findings from our study could lead to big improvements in how we look after people with PAH, particularly those who have had heart surgery. It could help doctors spot the condition earlier, improve treatments, and potentially save lives. This research might also inform health policies and practices, ensuring that the NHS can provide the best care for these patients, even in challenging times like a pandemic.