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Letter from the Editor-in-Chief

Dr. HijaziDear Colleagues,
I would like to extend a personal welcome to the new Journal of Structural Heart Disease (JSHD).
First, I would like to acknowledge and thank my very good friend John Carroll, MD who started the journey with me. However, for personal reasons, John decided to step down as Co-editor-in-Chief, I’m truly thankful for his leadership, vision and more importantly for his friendship and I wish John the very best. He went through very tough time and I respected his decision when he asked to step down. This journal is the official journal of the PICS Foundation that runs the Pediatric and Adult Interventional Cardiac Symposium (PICS/AICS). JSHD represents a major departure in the format, content, and audience of the traditional medical journal. How? Here are ten founding principles of the journal …

  1. The primary goal is to build a community of individuals with an interest in SHD.
  2. Designed from the beginning as a new media journal rather than a print journal converted into a web format.
  3. Designed for optimal delivery and interaction on a tablet.
  4. SHD is dominated by images and the need to interpret them; articles will be dominated by images with supplementary text rather than the reverse.
  5. Structured to be interactive rather than a passive experience.
  6. The audience (participants) will be international and multiculturalism is implicit.
  7. A parallel and intersecting edition focused on patients and a lay audience with an emphasis on interactivity with other patients and clinicians.
  8. Accessible educational material that can be downloaded and used by anyone.
  9. An editorial group of established experts intermixed with the unique skills and backgrounds of those just starting their careers with a SHD focus.
  10. The departure from a traditional article format will enable the editorial group to focus more time on interactions regarding publications

 The New Technical Format for the Journal

  • A hybrid web-tablet format focused on a touch interface though still usable on traditional computers.
  • High-quality video and audio
  • Interactive 2D images with planned support for native 3D models. Novel applications will be encouraged for development, presentation, and dissemination in JSHD
  • Digital libraries with open access will be built to support media content
  • Educational videos for use at the bedside
  • Libraries of videos portraying patient experiences

The scope will include all adults with structural, valvular, and congenital heart diseases. It is anticipated that this journal will cover imaging related to interventional therapies for these disorders. Imaging has become one of the most important aspects of this discipline. In addition to imaging, of course, the main focus will be on the treatment aspects of all congenital, valvular, and structural heart disease in the adult patient. This certainly will include the aortic valve, the aortic arch, the mitral valve, the left atrial appendage, the atrial septum (ASDs/PFOs), the tricuspid valve, the ventricular septum (VSD), the right ventricle outflow tract, the pulmonic valve and the branch pulmonary arteries and any miscellaneous topics not covered under these subheadings. Although the focus will be on “catheter therapies,” the journal will also cover basic science articles, natural history, and surgical management.


The journal is expected to be an open access, peer-reviewed journal that will appeal to a multidisciplinary group of specialists, including adult interventional cardiologists, pediatric/congenital interventional cardiologists, cardiac surgeons (congenital and non-congenital), cardiovascular anesthesiologists, engineers, nurses and technologists working in interventional cardiology and basic science researchers in structural and congenital heart disease. This multidisciplinary exposure is a specific motivation for the development of this journal. This journal covers the entire spectrum of structural and congenital heart disease in the adult patient. The journal is intended to foster cross-fertilization of ideas between clinicians taking care of this large group of patients. This journal will be solely online with rapid communication and publishing of articles and readers comments. The readers have an opportunity to interact directly with authors in a rapid way. The intent is to go beyond limitations and restrictions of current journals. The online format and website will provide a mechanism for extensive still-visual content as well as video segments. The journal initially is intended to be published bi-monthly, with a possible more frequent publishing as it becomes established. The Editorial Board is intended to be international, to encourage broad subscription.

Table of Contents

The content is intended to reflect the broad multidisciplinary scope of the journal.
The journal will be divided into separate sections covering the entire gamut of structural and congenital heart disease in the adult patient.
The following sections will cover:

  1. Valvular heart disease, including all four cardiac valves.
  2. The left atrial appendage.
  3. Septal defects, including ASD/PFO/VSD and PDA.
  4. The aortic arch and branch pulmonary arteries
  5. Miscellaneous topics (anomalies of coronary arteries, Fontan patients, Mustard patients, etc.)
  6. New technologies
  7. "How I Do It" (A purely technical feature, for both surgical and interventional techniques.)
  8. "My Nightmare case in the cath lab"! A very important and honest presentation of cases that either ended well or not…what lessons we have learnt from these cases.
  9. "Ask the Editors" (A feature in which readers ask questions of the Editors in any of the topic categories of the journal. One editor or more may reply. This provides an opportunity to get detailed answers to difficult questions; questions will be selected to be of general interest to readers.) 
  10. State-of-the-Art Reviews (Key authors and key topics are summarized, with references.)
  11. PRO-CON Debates (Key authors and key topics are debated by authorities, followed by an editor’s scorecard on the debate.)
  12. Basic Science for the Clinician (A basic scientist explains in intelligible terms methods, techniques, and concepts from the basic sciences. This feature permits cross-fertilization of ideas and enhances communication between scientists and clinicians.)
  13. Book Reviews
  14. Upcoming Meetings (Lists meetings within the scope of the journal.)
  15. Ongoing Clinical Trials (This feature provides a running list of clinical trials currently enrolling patients with various diseases related to the scope of the journal.)
  16. Letters to the Editor

I welcome you to JSHD. I promise you that this journal will be totally different than other journals. I welcome your submissions and I promise you the turn around to be fast and fair.



Ziyad M. Hijazi, MD