Adult Congenital Heart Disease (ACHD) Research

The members of the adult congenital heart team at the OHSU Knight Cardiovascular Institute are actively involved in a variety of research projects related to improving the care and outcomes of individuals with adult congenital heart disease (ACHD). In addition to our own research, we participate in multicenter research with collaborators across the United States and internationally. 

Dr. Craig Broberg has current funding to study the aorta in patients with a bicuspid valve, and has also had research funding from NHLBI to study myocardial function and diffuse fibrosis in congenital heart patients using MRI. This includes a grant from the American Heart Association to study the impact of myocardial fibrosis on diastolic function in patients with a single ventricle after Fontan palliation. As founding member of the Alliance for Adult Research in Congenital Cardiology (AARCC), Dr. Broberg has obtained funding to study the feasibility of harvesting electronic health record data for a multicenter registry of ACHD care and studies to understand the accuracy of administrative codes for such purposes.

Dr. Abigail Khan is interested in the use of administrative datasets, such as all payer all claims databases, to study the ACHD population. Specifically, she is studying health care utilization in ACHD patients and examining differences in care between patients cared for at an ACHD specialty center vs. at non-ACHD centers.

She is currently carrying out a project that aims to identify ways to improve the diagnostic accuracy of diagnostic codes in ACHD. Finally, she has ongoing projects related to strain imaging in patients with transposition, depression and anxiety in the ACHD population, and pregnancy outcomes in women with heart disease.

Dr. Adrienne Kovac's primary research interests include the assessment of patient-reported outcomes, such as quality of life, in cardiovascular patients;psychosocial assessment and treatment of individuals impacted by congenital heart disease; the transition from pediatric to adult health care;and advance care planning.

Highlighted Publications

  1. Apers S, Kovacs AH, Luyckx K, et al. Quality of Life of Adults With Congenital Heart Disease in 15 Countries: Evaluating Country-Specific Characteristics. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2016:17;67(19):2237-45
  2. Deng LX, Khan AM, Drajpuch D, Fuller S, Ludmir J, Mascio CE, Partington SL, Qadeer A, Tobin L, Kovacs AH, Kim YY. Prevalence of correlates of Post-traumatic stress disorder in adults with congenital heart disease. Am J Cardiol 2015 Dec 13. Pii:S0002-9149(15)02359-0. doi:10:1016/j.smjcard.2015.11.065.
  3. Kovacs AH, Bandyopadhyay M, Grace SL, Kentner AC, Nolan RP, Silversides CK, Irvine MJ. Adult congenital heart disease –coping and resilience (ACHD-CARE): rationale and methodology of a pilot randomized controlled trial. Contemporary Clinical Trials. 2015 Nov;45(Pt B):385-393.
  4. Burchill LJ, Redington AN, Sliversides CK, Ross HJ, Mital S, Jimenez-Juan L, Oechslin E, Slorach C, Mertens L, Wald R. Renin-angiotensin-aldosteronesystem genotype and serum BNP in a contemporary cohort of adults late after Fontan palliation. Int J Cardiol. 2015 Oct 15;197:209-15.
  5. Broberg C, McLarry J, Mitchell J, Winter C, Doberne J, Woods P, Burchill L, Weiss J. Accuracy of Administrative Data for Detection and Categorization of Adult Congenital Heart Disease Patients from an Electronic Medical Record. Pediatr Cardiol 2015 Apr;36(4):719-25.
  6. Bohun CM, Woods P, Winter C, Mitchell J, McLarry J, Weiss J, Broberg CS. "Challenges of intra-institutional transfer of care from paediatric to adult congenital cardiology: the need for retention as well as transition." Cardiol Young. 2015 Apr 13:1-4 1.
  7. Kovacs AH, McCrindle BW. So hard to say good-bye: Transition from pediatric cardiology to adult care. Nature Rev Cardiol. 2014;11(1):51-62.
  8. Cotts T, Khairy P, Opotowsky AR, John AS, Valente AM, Zaidi AN, Cook SC, Aboulhosn J, Ting JG, Gurvitz M, Landzberg MJ, Verstappen A, Kay J, Earing M, Franklin W, Kogon B, Broberg CS; for the Alliance for Adult Research in Congenital Cardiology (AARCC). "Clinical research priorities in adult congenital heart disease." Int J Cardiol. 2013 Dec 24