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Congenital Heart Diseases

An inborn problem with the heart’s structure and function is known as congenital heart disease. It is one of the common types of birth defects. There are various conditions that affect the heart from the birth itself. Congenital birth defects are said to be more dangerous than other kinds of birth defects. Usually, there are two types of congenital heart diseases:

Cyanotic: Caused due to lack of oxygen.

Some of the common cyanotic and non-cyanotic conditions are:

Cyanotic congenital heart diseases:

  • Transposition of the great vessels
  • Pulmonary atresia
  • Ebstein’s anomaly
  • Tricuspid atresia
  • Tetralogy of Fallot
  • Hypoplastic left heart
  • Truncus arteriosus
  • Total anomalous pulmonary venous return

Non-cyanotic congenital heart diseases:

  • Atrial septal defect
  • Ventricular septal defect (VSD)
  • Aortic stenosis
  • Atrioventricular canal (endocardial cushion defect)
  • Pulmonic stenosis
  • Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA)
  • Coarctation of the aorta

These conditions may affect a child together or alone. In most cases, children with congenital heart diseases are not found to have other congenital birth defects. Heart diseases are said to be a part of chromosome syndrome and genetic defects. Some of them can be familial. Congenital heart diseases are said to have no significant causes. Researchers are still studying to find the exact cause for it.

The symptoms of each congenital heart condition may vary accordingly. However, the symptoms may not be visible during the first stages. Diseases like coarctation of the aorta may not show symptoms for years. Most of the congenital heart diseases can be detected while the child is in the womb through the pregnancy ultrasound test. Children found to have congenital heart disease will get more medical care during the delivery in order to avoid dangerous situations. Treatment will be decided by the doctor according to the condition found in the child. Some diseases will get healed without much treatment and some may need to be followed up carefully. Congenital heart diseases can be prevented to an extent with proper prenatal care.

Thorough clinical examination and echocardiography are the key to correct diagnosis of congenital heart disease. Newer interventional techniques are now available like device closure of birth defects in which the defects are closed by percutaneous catheter technique avoiding open heart surgery