Adult congenital heart disease (ACHD) occurs when you have one or more abnormalities in your heart that were present when you were born. There are a wide variety of congenital heart defects, so you need a team that’s experienced in providing top-notch treatment to care for you. The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center has a one of the largest adult congenital heart disease programs in the nation, with a team of specialists focused on adult congenital heart disease treatments and research.

Why choose Ohio State for ACHD treatment?  

Since completing our first heart transplant in 1986, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center has been the only adult heart transplant center in central Ohio. Ohio State Richard M. Ross Heart Hospital is consistently recognized as a leader in heart care and heart surgery in U.S. News & World Report. We focus on the physical, psychological, emotional and social needs of patients with end-stage heart disease, through transplantation to post-transplant care. 

Our researchers were among the first in the nation to evaluate the use of cyclosporine, a drug that suppresses the immune system and dramatically improves the success of organ transplantation. Our research teams are currently studying new methods to lengthen the amount of time a heart remains viable for transplantation and are constantly exploring new ways to improve the transplant experience for patients.

We’re the only hospital in central Ohio that partners with Nationwide Children’s Hospital to provide specialized care from birth to adulthood for those with congenital heart disease We provide the resources necessary for the care of adult congenital cardiac patients through the Columbus Ohio Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program.

Ohio State has one of the largest adult congenital heart disease (CHD) programs in the nation dedicated to helping women with congenital heart defects and acquired heart conditions who are, or wish to become, pregnant. 

Defects of the aorta

Aorta coarctation occurs when the aorta (main vessel that carries blood from the heart to the body) becomes narrowed. In those with bicuspid aortic valve, the aortic valve—which connects the lower left heart chamber to the aorta—has only two cusps, instead of three. Due to this, the aortic valve is narrowed and blood cannot flow properly.

Defects of the heart valves

Tricuspid atresia occurs when the valve between two of the heart’s chambers didn’t properly form before birth. Ebstein’s anomaly is a rare condition that causes the tricuspid valve—located between the two heart chambers on the right side of the heart—to not work properly. The malformation can cause blood to leak back into the valve, which can cause the heart to work insufficiently and beat too fast. Another type of heart valve defect is pulmonary valve stenosis, which occurs when the opening pulmonary valve—located between the lower right heart chamber and the pulmonary (lung) arteries—is too narrow and blood flow slows.

Defects of the left side of the heart

In people with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, the left side of the heart didn’t fully develop before birth so the heart can’t pump blood effectively to the body. A rare defect, subvalvular aortic stenosis is when the left ventricle (chamber) of the heart is narrowed below the aortic valve. Due to this, blood can’t flow correctly out of the heart.

Other congenital heart defects we treat

Transposition of the great arteries occurs when the two main arteries leaving the heart are reversed, or transposed. This defect changes the way that blood moves through the body, which can lead to an oxygen shortage in certain areas of the body. A ventricular septal defect—or VSD—is a common heart defect that’s also known as a “hole in the heart.” A VSD occurs in the wall between the heart’s lower pumping chambers, which causes the heart to pump blood back to the lungs instead of out into the body. Tetralogy of Fallot is when a person is born with a combination of four heart defects that affect the structure of the heart. These defects include pulmonary valve stenosis, a VSD, overriding aorta (aorta that is misplaced) and right ventricular hypertrophy (over-pumping of the heart that leads to thickening and weakening of the heart wall).

Patient Story Gail

Gail's Lifesaving CPR

Gail Hogan’s coworkers performed 40 minutes of lifesaving CPR before help arrived.

Ablation Procedure

Ohio State doctors performed a non-invasive ablation procedure for Gail Hogan to treat her atrial fibrillation.

Living with Heart Disease

Gail feels an obligation to take care of herself for her family and her future. She discusses the simple way she maintains her heart health

Gail Hogan Gives Back

Gail discusses how she decided to give back by volunteering at OSUWMC

Columbus Ohio Adult Congenital Heart Disease (COACH) Program

Adults with congenital heart disease require coordinated care at regional or national ACHD centers throughout their lives. We provide this care from birth to adulthood; we partner with Nationwide Children’s Hospital to provide the resources necessary for the care of adult congenital cardiac patients through the Columbus Ohio Adult Congenital Heart Disease (COACH) Program. The program also provides educational opportunities to cardiologists and other physicians.

The COACH program focuses on:

  • Adults with congenital heart disease
  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Cardiovascular connective tissue disorders
  • Pregnancy in women with heart disease
  • Transition of adolescents with congenital heart disease into adult congenital heart disease (ACHD)
  • Training of future ACHD providers

In the COACH Program, we offer a multidisciplinary approach to ACHD, which means each patient is evaluated by an ACHD specialist and, when appropriate, a cardiac surgeon, an imaging specialist and an interventional cardiologist with training in congenital heart disease. This integrated approach means that each patient’s disease is treated individually, with that particular patient’s needs and physical condition in mind.

Why choose Ohio State for ACHD treatment?

Since completing our first heart transplant in 1986, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center has been the only adult heart transplant center in central Ohio. Ohio State Richard M. Ross Heart Hospital is consistently recognized as a leader in heart care and heart surgery in U.S. News & World Report. We focus on the physical, psychological, emotional and social needs of patients with end-stage heart disease, through transplantation to post-transplant care.

Our researchers were among the first in the nation to evaluate the use of cyclosporine, a drug that suppresses the immune system and dramatically improves the success of organ transplantation. Our research teams are currently studying new methods to lengthen the amount of time a heart remains viable for transplantation and are constantly exploring new ways to improve the transplant experience for patients.

Cardiovascular Disease In Pregnancy

Personalized Heart Care Key to Reducing Pregnancy-Related Deaths

The rate of pregnancy-related deaths in the U.S. has more than doubled over the past two decades, and the main cause is heart disease. Experts attribute the rise to an increase in women entering pregnancy with underlying heart issues including high blood pressure and diabetes.

Our Leaders

Our leaders

Curt Daniels MD

Curt Daniels, MD

Director, Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program

Curt Daniels, MD, is the director of the Adolescent and Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program and the Pulmonary Hypertension Program and Professor of Clinical Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. Dr. Daniels specializes in adult congenital heart disease, connective tissue disorder, adolescent and young adult cardiology and pulmonary hypertension.