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Congenital Heart Diseases

Congenital Heart Diseases

These are the congenital heart anomalies, which are the structural and functional disorders occurring due to abnormal development of the fetal heart. Congenital heart diseases cover a variety of problems affecting healthy functioning of the heart. These problems may occur solely or in combination. They may also be the result of certain genetic disorders and chromosomal abnormalities such as Down syndrome, Turner syndrome, Marfansyndrome or Noonan syndrome.

Congenital heart diseases are generally detected after birth during the routine controls, but must be followed-up and treated, once they are diagnosed.

What are the Causes of Congenital Heart Diseases?

Congenital heart diseases develop due to the problems experienced during pregnancy such as smoking and alcohol intake of the mother during pregnancy, use of inappropriate medicines during pregnancy, inability to control gestational diabetes, low birth weight, maternal age and maternal infections. Therefore, it is very important not only to have a thorough pregnancy follow-up but also to protect maternal health, control the existing diseases and avoid bad habits such as smoking and alcohol intake during pregnancy. Furthermore, the mother should have a good diet, not be subject to any physical trauma, avoid inappropriate contraception methods and use of unnecessary medicines.

What are the Symptoms of Congenital Heart Diseases?

Several patients have signs similar to other diseases. That is why the overall health screening of the newborns must be performed properly and in detail.Furthermore, there are also certain heart diseases left undiagnosed until childhood and even adolescence. Main symptoms of congenital heart diseases are:

  • Getting tired while breastfeeding or inability to breastfeed during neonatal or infancy period,
  • Frequently developing respiratory tract infections,
  • Having low birth weight,
  • Having Apgar syndrome,
  • Excessive sweating
  • Weight gain and imbalance in development
  • Cyanosis
  • Poor school performance
  • Inadequate exercise capacity.

Time of onset of symptoms is important for diagnosis and treatment. For diagnosis, heart rate, stroke volume and blood pressure are assessed and a detailed abdominal examination is performed.

What are the Main Congenital Heart Diseases? 

While congenital heart diseases vary depending on their causes, they also lead to several different symptoms. Main congenital heart diseases are:

  • Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome
  • Total Anomalous Pulmonary VenousReturn
  • TruncusArteriosus
  • Tricuspid Atresia
  • Pulmonary Atresia
  • Transposition of the Great Arteries (TGA)
  • Tetralogy of Fallot(TOF)
  • Coarctation of the Aorta
  • Aortic Stenosis
  • AtrioventricularSeptal Defect (ASD)
  • Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD)
  • Patent DuctusArteriosus (PDA)

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