Categories: Cardiology

Factors Affecting Congenital Heart Diseases

A human being is perfect machinery in itself. They are born this way. But sometimes it is born with imperfections. If the imperfection happens in your heart, it is called Congenital Heart Diseases. The defect can be of heart chambers, valves or any main artery.

Types of Congenital Heart Defects:

  • Aortic valve stenosis
  • Mitral valve stenosis
  • Patent ductus arteriosus
  • Atrial Septal Defect
  • Atrioventricular Septal Defect
  • Coarctation of the Aorta
  • Double-outlet Right Ventricle
  • D-Transposition of the Great Arteries
  • Ebstein Anomaly
  • Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome
  • Interrupted Aortic Arch
  • Pulmonary Atresia
  • Single Ventricle
  • Tetralogy of Fallot
  • Total Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Return
  • Tricuspid Atresia
  • Truncus Arteriosus
  • Ventricular Septal Defect

In all of them, and otherwise, the normal heart part is either absent or malformed or malfunctioning.

How do you know if this is it…?

If an infant present with signs like:

  • Bluish discoloration of skin, nails or lips
  • Troubled or rapid breathing
  • Sleepiness
  • Tiredness
  • Swelling in feet, ankle, stomach or face

Diagnosis:

  • It can be diagnosed before delivery through a level 2 scan
  • Further confirmation through a fetal echocardiogram
  • After birth through history and physical exam
  • Blood tests
  • Chest X-ray
  • Electrocardiogram (EKG): a non-invasive test that records the heart’s electrical activity
  • Echocardiogram: a non-invasive test that uses sound waves and creates a moving picture of the heart
  • Cardiac catheterization: a test that involves passing a thin flexible tube (catheter) through the leg into the heart for observation and treatment

Causes and Risk Factors:

  • Idiopathic or unknown cause
  • Chromosomal anomaly
  • Family History
  • Drug or alcohol abuse during pregnancy
  • Certain Drugs or antibiotics during pregnancy
  • Seizure disorder and its medication during pregnancy
  • Anti depressives like lithium during pregnancy
  • Autoimmune Disorders like Lupus during pregnancy
  • Rubella during pregnancy
  • Sometimes from assisted reproductive technology like IVF
  • Gestational Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Smoking during pregnancy

Treatment: Needs a team of health care personals including –

  • Specialized Nurses
  • Respiratory Therapist
  • Electrophysiologist
  • Cardiac Surgeon
  • Neonatologist
  • Genetic Expert

This includes:

  1. Medication Management – Antibiotics, NSAIDs, Blood Thinners
  2. Surgical Management
  • Cardiac catheterization – It involves passing a thin flexible catheter through the leg into the heart for treatment
  • Open heart Surgery – Valvoplasty or Valve Replacement
  • Heart transplant

With improved health procedures, most cases of congenital heart diseases are saved, treated and with little precaution can lead to a normal healthy life. Organizational deliveries also happen to have a big role in saving such cases. You cannot control genetic mutation but you can practice a healthy living style. Well, that counts the MOST…

Dr. Hemant Madan (Prof), Director & Senior Consultant Cardiology – Adult, Cardiology – Paediatric, Dharamshila Narayana Superspeciality Hospital, Delhi and Narayana Superspeciality Hospital, Gurugram

Narayana Health

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