The Competence Network for Congenital Heart Defects conducts research into disease mechanisms, new treatment options, and the healthcare needs of children, adolescents and adults in Germany with congenital heart defects. Doctors, scientists, parents’ associations and self-help groups work together in the network to ensure a swift two-way transfer of knowledge between the research community and the healthcare sector. The network receives funding from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) under its programme “Health Research: Scientific Research for the People”.

The main objective of the competence network’s activities is to establish a networked research structure dedicated to congenital heart defects, thus enabling multi-centric studies. Research is conducted into all hitherto insufficiently covered aspects of congenital heart defects, stretching across basic, clinical and healthcare research. The central focus of the network’s clinical research lies on treatment and prevention studies of right ventricular dysfunction. The chief resource at the centre of this research structure is the collection of patient data in the National Register for Congenital Heart Defects. By virtue of this resource, all scientific studies are made accessible to the entire research structure, enabling data to be evaluated on a networked basis.