Three Years’ Libyan Experience in Congenital Heart Disease Interventions

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Interventional cardiology procedures are constantly increasing in management of structure heart disease in developing countries, such as Libya. The aim of the study was to review the Libyan experience in congenital heart intervention in the eastern region of Libya during the period 2017–2020.

National Heart Center Benghazi is a referral centre in the eastern region of Libya. Formerly the Benghazi Cardiac Center, it offers services to children with congenital heart disease from different cities across Libya. The service includes diagnosis and transcatheter intervention in newborns, infants, paediatrics and adults with congenital heart disease. Diagnostic and interventional catheterisation carried out solely by the Libyan congenital cardiology team alone started in 2007/2008.

During the 3 years (2017–2020) of the study, patients were referred to our centre from different cardiac clinic and general hospitals in Libya. We restarted work after a critical period in our city after the war. We started work in repairing and rebuilding the centre, resulting in limited number of cases compared to other centres.

We performed around 85 structural heart disease interventional and diagnostic cases. Of these cases, 22 were atrial septal defects/patent foramen ovale transcatheter closure, 19 were patent ductus arteriosus, transcatheter closure, 18 were pulmonary balloon valvuloplasty, five Rashkind atrial septostomy, 19 were diagnostic catheterisations, one was balloon angiography to COA stent and two were coronary angiography for post transposition of great arteries repair and post Kawasaki disease with coronary dilation.

Conclusion: In Libya, there has been a steady growth in the intervention and diagnostic procedures in structural heart disease.