2021 Sree Gaddipati, MD Lecture addresses congenital heart disease in pregnancy

Heidi Maria Connolly, MD, FACC, FASE
Heidi Maria Connolly, MD, FACC, FASE

Heidi Maria Connolly, MD, FACC, FASE, Professor of Medicine in the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Director of the Mayo Clinic’s Adult Congenital Heart Disease Clinic, delivered a highly informative presentation on congenital heart disease and pregnancy to the Ob/Gyn department at the annual Sree Gaddipati, MD Memorial Lecture on May 20, 2021.

Dr. Connolly’s presentation, titled “Pregnancy in Patients with Congenital Heart Disease,” offered specific and actionable guidance on managing complex cardiac cases. In her lecture, Dr. Connolly outlined the contraindications to pregnancy and appropriate management strategies for patients with congenital heart disease (CHD) and aortic disorders, as well as instructions for managing and developing anticoagulation regimens for pregnant patients with mechanical prostheses.

The presentation highlighted the high rate of maternal mortality and morbidity in the United States compared to other Western countries, as well as the high rate of maternal death attributable to cardiovascular disease, which affects approximately 1 4 percent of 4 million pregnancies. Dr. Connolly advised conducting pre-pregnancy assessments for patients to evaluate their potential risk of cardiovascular disease during pregnancy, and outlined management guidelines for patients who fall into different risk categories. Detailed case studies of high-risk pregnant patients were also presented as examples of how to manage conditions like shunt lesion, heart murmurs, and more during pregnancy.

This annual Sreedhar Gaddipati, MD lecture is dedicated to the legacy of Dr. Gaddipati, who was, and remains, an important figure in the Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons medical education program. The lecture was established by a generous donation from the Gaddipati family to honor this exceptional teacher and role model, esteemed and beloved physician, revered colleague, and dear friend to the department, who passed away unexpectedly on August 7, 2013.

Dr. Gaddipati joined Columbia University in 2003 as a Clinical Assistant Professor in Maternal-Fetal Medicine and became the Director of Critical Care Obstetrics. He received numerous teaching awards and honors, including the Council on Resident Education in Obstetrics and Gynecology National Faculty Award for Excellence in Resident Education in 2000, 2003, and 2005.

Dr. Connolly is a professor of medicine in the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, and a consultant in cardiovascular diseases at Mayo Clinic. She is board certified in internal medicine, cardiovascular diseases, echocardiography, and adult congenital heart disease and completed special fellowships in echocardiography and adult congenital heart disease.

Dr. Connolly is director of Mayo Clinic’s Adult Congenital Heart Disease Clinic. She established the Carcinoid Heart Disease Clinic at Mayo and serves as its director. She is also a member of the Mayo Clinic Echocardiography Laboratory. Her clinical interests include congenital heart disease, genetically triggered aortic disorders, carcinoid heart disease and other types of valvular heart disease, and cardiac disorders in pregnancy.