Back to Cardiovascular Diseases
Congenital heart disease
Congenital cardiovascular malformations are generally the result of aberrant
development of a normal structure in the fetus, or failure of such a structure
to progress beyond an early stage of embryonic or fetal development. Malformations
are due to complex multifactorial genetic and environmental causes.
Usually these patients are diagnosed by pediatricians and do
not present as adults without previous diagnosis and management unless
they have small lesions such as atrial septal defects (ASD) which have escaped
diagnosis during childhood.
Types of congenital heart diseases
A. Cyanotic heart disease
These are associated with an abnormal flow of oxygenated blood from the
left side of the heart back to the right side before passing through the
aorta to reach the body. This reduces the amount of oxygen that reaches
the body because the blood carrying it is being recycled between the right
and left sides of the heart. Lack of oxygen in the tissues leads to a bluish
coloration of the skin and mucosal tissues such as the lips. Some of these
conditions are associated with enlargement of the left, right or both sides
of the heart.
1. With right ventricular enlargement:
Triology of Fallot,
Eisenmenger, Ebstein's anomaly.
2. With left ventricular enlargement: Tricuspid atresia.
3. With biventricular enlargement: transposition of the great
vessels & truncus arteriosus.
4. With no ventricular enlargement:
Tetralogy of Fallot.
B. Non-cyanotic heart disease
1. With right ventricular enlargement: Atrial septal defects, pulmonary
2. With left ventricular enlargement:
Patent ductus arteriosus,
3. With biventricular enlargement: Ventricular septal
4. With no ventricular enlargement: any mild lesion or dextrocardia.
coarctation of the aorta and pulmonary stenosis are not associated with
shunting of blood from the left side to the right.
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