What is it?

Congenital anomalies of the heart, or congenital heart defects, are abnormalities in the heart walls, valves or blood vessels. Some anomalies are simple conditoon that do not cause any symptoms while others are severe, causing life-threatening symptoms. A common heart defects classifaction is for cyanotic and acyanotic heart disease, Cyanotic congenital heart disease results in low oxygen level in the blood, causing the babies shortness of breath and their skin in bluish. Congenital heart defects may be caused by genetic problems, and conditions in the pregnancy such as certain medications, drugs, alcohol, and viral infection.

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Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- common ventricle
- Pulmonary Valve Anomaly
- Congenital Mitral Insufficiency
- Congenital Mitral Stenosis
- Ebstein's Anomaly
- Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome
- Coronary Artery Anomaly
- Congenital Tricuspid Atresia and Stenosis
- Cor Triatriatum
- Congenital Aortic Valve Stenosis

Signs & symptoms

Symptoms of congenital heart defect may either appear shortly after birth. These babies will have bluish lips, fingers and toes, trouble breathing, feeding difficulties, low birth weight and delayed growth. In other cases, symptoms may appear only later in life and include abnormal heart rhytems, dizziness, shortness of breath, fainting, swelling and fatigue.

Diagnosis

Congenital heart defect may be detected in an echocardiogram during or after pregancy. Some heart defects are not diagnosed until adulthood, because they do not cause any symptoms. Other tests to diagnose or rule out congenital heart disease include chest X-ray, pulse oximetro, cardiac CT or MRI and cardiac catheterization.

Treatment

Treatment for congenital heart defect depends on the type of defect, its symptoms and severity. Medications, implantable heart devices, procedures done with cathetarezation techiques and open-heart surgery are some of the possiblities.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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