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About Sickkids
About SickKids

Erwin Oechslin, MD, FRCPC, FESC

The Hospital for Sick Children
Director, Congenital Cardiac Centre for Adults, Toronto General Hospital
Labatt Family Heart Centre

University of Toronto
Associate Professor of Medicine
Department of Medicine

Phone: 416-340-4871
Fax: 416-340-5014
Email: erwin.oechslin@uhn.on.ca

For more information, visit:

The Labatt Family Heart Centre

Brief Biography

Dr. Erwin Oechslin moved to Toronto from Zurich, Switzerland, in January 2006, to take on the Directorship of the Congenital Cardiac Centre for Adults located at the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, University Health Network, Toronto General Hospital.

Dr. Oechslin’s research interests include long-term outcomes of patients with congenital heart disease, cyanotic congenital heart disease, psychological sequelae, evaluation of ventricular performance and interventricular interaction by echocardiography, and non-compaction of the myocardium. He has written more than peer-reviewed 90 publications and 8 book chapters and has co-edited one book.

Dr. Oechslin graduated from the University of Zurich (Switzerland) in 1982. He received his doctorate of medicine from the University of Zurich in 1985. After a broad training in medicine, he obtained his certification in Internal Medicine and Cardiology by the Swiss Medical Association (FMH, Foederatio Medicorum Helveticorum) in 1995.
His major interest has been focused on congenital heart disease since 1995: after completion of a one year fellowship in pediatric cardiology at the Hospital for Sick Children in Zurich in 1995, he continued his training in adult congenital heart disease at the Toronto Congenital Cardiac Centre for Adults under the supervision of Dr. Gary Webb in 1996 and 1997. He established the Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program at the University Hospital in Zurich after his return in 1998 and worked as a staff physician in the heart failure / transplant clinic (Director: Prof. W. Kiowski) until 2001 and in the echocardiography laboratory (Director: Prof. R. Jenni) until 2005.

He was awarded a fellowship of the European Society of Cardiology in 2002.

Research Interests

Long-standing interests in the long-term outcome of congenital heart disease, psychological sequelae, cyanotic congenital heart disease, non-invasive assessment of ventricular function by new echocardiographic techniques, and non-compaction of the ventricular myocardium.

Future Research Interests

Exercise physiology: Adaptation of the subaortic right ventricle supporting the systemic circulation ventricle during exercise
· Timing of pulmonary valve implantation in patients with severe pulmonary regurgitation after repair of tetralogy of Fallot
· Cyanotic congenital heart disease / Eisenmenger syndrome
· Respiratory physiology
· Non-compaction of the myocardium

Learning Interests

Clinical Activities

In-patient and out-patient care


Oechslin EN, Kiowski W, Schindler R, Bernhein A, Julius B, Brunner-La Rocca HP. Systemic endothelial dysfunction in adults with cyanotic congenital heart disease. Circulation 2005; 112:1106-1112.

Collins N, Piran S, Harrison J, Azevedo E, Oechslin E, Silversides CK. Prevalence and determinants of anemia in adults with complex congenital heart disease and ventricular dysfunction (subaortic right ventricle and single ventricle physiology). Am J Cardiol 2008; 102:625-628.

Kovacs AH, Saidi AS, Kuhl EA, Sears SF, Silversides C, Harrison JL, Ong L, Colman J, Oechslin E, Nolan RP. Depression and anxiety in adult congenital heart disease: Predictors and prevalence. Int J Cardiol 2008 Aug 14. [Epub ahead of print]

Kaemmerer H, Bauer U, Pensl U, Oechslin E, Gravenhorst V, Franke A, Hager A, Balling G, Hauser M, Eicken, A, Hess J. Management of emergencies in adults with congenital heart disease. Am J Cardiol 2008; 101:521-525.

Kaemmerer H, Fratz S, Bauer U, Oechslin E, Brodherr-Heberlein S, Zrenner B, Turina J, Jenni R, Lange PE, Hess J. Emergency hospital admissions and three-year survival of adults with and without cardiovascular surgery for congenital heart disease. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 2003; 126:1048-52.

Zuber M, Gautschi N, Oechslin E, Widmer V, Jenni R. Outcome of pregnancy in women with congenital shunt lesions. Heart 1999; 81:271-5.

Oechslin EN, Harrison DA, Harris L, Downar E, Webb GD, Siu SS, Williams WG. Reoperation in adults with repair of tetralogy of Fallot: indications und outcomes. J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg 1999; 118:245-51.

Oechslin EN, Harrison DA, Connelly MS, Webb GD, Siu SC. Mode of death in adults with congenital heart disease. Am J Cardiol 2000; 86:1111-16.

Engelfriet P, Tijssen J, Kaemmerer H, Gatzoulis MA, Boersma E, Oechslin E, Thaulow E, Popelová J, Moons Ph, Meijboom F, Daliento L, Hirsch R, Laforest V, Thilén U, Mulder B. Adherence to guidelines in the clinical care for adults with congenital heart disease : the Euro Heart Survey on Adult Congenital Heart Disease. Eur Heart J 2006; 27:737-745.

Moons P, Engelfriet P, Kaemmerer H, Meijboom FJ, Oechslin E, Mulder B. Delivery of care for adults with congenital heart disease in Europe: results from the European Heart Survey. Eur Heart J 2006; 27: 1324-1330.

Engelfriet P, Boersma E, Oechslin E, Tijssen J, Gatzoulis MA, Thilén U, Kaemmerer H, Moons P, Meijboom F, Popelová J, Laforest V, Hirsch R, Daliento L, Thaulow E, Mulder B. The Spectrum of Adult Congenital Heart Disease in Europe: morbidity and mortality in a 5-year follow-up period. Eur Heart J 2005; 26: 2325-33.

Klaassen S, Probst S, Oechslin E, Gerull B, Krings G, Schuler P, Greutmann M, Hürlimann D, Yegitbasi M, Pons L, Gramlich M, Drenckhahn JD, Heuser A, Berger F, Jenni R, Thierfelder L. Mutations in sarcomere protein genes in left ventricular noncompaction. Circulation 2008; 117:2893-2901

Sasse-Klaassen S, Probst S, Gerull B, Oechslin E, Nurnberg P, Heuser A, Jenni R, Hennies HC, Thierfelder L. Novel gene locus for autosomal dominant left ventricular noncompaction maps to chromosome 11p15. Circulation 2004; 109:2720-2723.

Sasse-Klaassen S, Gerull B, Oechslin E, Jenni R, Thierfelder L. Isolated
noncompaction of the left ventricular myocardium in the adult is an autosomal dominant disorder in the majority of patients. Am J Med Genet 2003; 119A:162-167.

Oechslin EN, Attenhofer Jost CH, Rojas JR, Kaufmann PA, Jenni R. Long-term follow-up of 34 adults with isolated left ventricular non-compaction: a distinct cardiomyopathy with poor prognosis. J Am Coll Cardiol 2000; 36:493-500.