Congenital Heart Disease
Alternate Names : Congenital Heart Defects
Congenital heart disease, also known as CHD, is any birth defect which affects
the heart or the large blood vessels. Congenital means that the defect is
present at birth.
What is going on in the body?
There are many different birth defects that can affect the heart.
For example, the valves of the heart may be missing or not work properly.
In other cases, there may be holes in the walls of the heart or abnormal
connections between blood vessels and the heart. The defects may be mild
and cause no problems. Or they may be life threatening and require surgery hours
after birth. Some common congenital heart defects include:
atrial septal defect,
which is an abnormal opening between the two upper chambers of the heart
ventricular septal defect,
which is an abnormal opening between the two lower chambers of the heart
tetralogy of Fallot,
which is a set of four typical heart abnormalities
coarctation of the aorta,
which is a narrowing of the aorta
which is an abnormality of the opening between the heart and the arteries to the lungs
patent ductus arteriosus,
which is an abnormal opening between the aorta and the artery to the lung
transposition of the great vessels,
which is a switch in the normal positions of the aorta and the artery to the lung
What are the causes and risks of the disease?
Many times the cause of CHD is unknown. Known causes of
and drug abuse
by a mother during pregnancy
certain medicines used by a mother during pregnancy such as those
used to treat seizures
diseases affecting the mother, such as
genetic, inherited, or chromosomal defects such as those that occur with
viral infections of the fetus during pregnancy, especially