Heart defects are the most common congenital disorder: Every 100th child is born with a malformation of the heart or the large vessels close to the heart. In Germany that means > 7000 babies are born with heart defects every year, with considerable variance in severity and complexity. Thirty years ago, very few children with complex cyanotic heart defects reached school age but, thanks to extensive research and further development of diagnostics and therapy, nearly all heart defects are now treatable and more than 90% of all children with heart defects reach adulthood.
The Department of Congenital Heart Defects and Pediatric Cardiology in Freiburg carries out a wide range of innovative patient-oriented research in these areas. More information about our current projects can be found below.
We also conduct research via extensive national and international networks of collaborators. We contribute to epidemiological research via the Competence Network for Congenital Heart Defects (founding member) and via the associated Register for Congenital Heart Defects e. V. , in which more than 55,000 patients with congenital heart defects are registered. The Competence Network for Congenital Heart Defects also has a biobank in which we have been involved for many years. The biobank enables multicentre genetic investigations involving ‘triple diagnostics’ (using blood samples from the patient and both parents). Work within this cooperation has enabled several genetic causes of heart defects to be newly identified.