What is congenital heart disease?

Written by: Dr. Pablo Yuste Pescador
Published: | Updated: 14/11/2018
Edited by: Top Doctors®

A congenital malformation is the one with a being at birth. Of these malformations, the most common are those affecting the heart and are called congenital heart disease. Occur in less than 10 subjects per 1000 live births.

At least half of those affected will need a special diagnostic study or some urgent treatment in the first year of life. Etiology, Why these heart disease, is a matter of research and molecular genetic techniques have uncovered the genetic origin in various syndromes or heart disease.


How are they detected?

In cardiology , the detection of congenital heart disease should begin in hospital environment, from the fetal period. To observe changes in the fetal heart, the proper technique is echocardiography and Doppler to visualize, moving the heart and arteries of the fetus through the mother's abdominal structures. The presentation of congenital heart disease varies from birth to the first weeks of life presenting cyanosis, shock or pulmonary hyperflow. I appreciate all pediatricians and pediatric cardiologists exclusively in hospitals.


What is a heart murmur?

The sign that motivates family concern and leading to greater number of cardiac valuations is the presence of a heart murmur. A heart murmur is produced by the presence of turbulent blood flow in a heart valve or a given vessel. Fortunately, the presence of a breath, detected by auscultation, does not presuppose the existence of heart disease. Cardiologist work is to know the patient's history, from its inception on, use auscultation to detect the breath and their characteristics using different techniques: the electrocardiogram, echocardiography and Doppler color-coded and radiological examination to decide whether the breath is translated from heart disease or is simply not an innocent murmur is caused by a malformation. The frequency of an innocent murmur is about 50% of cases considering all pediatric ages. Adolescents and adults with congenital heart disease Teens and adults carriers of congenital heart disease could be separated into three groups:

1. Carriers of minor congenital heart disease and pulmonary stenosis, small septal defect, bicuspid aorta, etc.. Many cases were not detected at birth and are discovered later.

2. Affected by severe heart disease who were not treated with surgery in childhood by family rejection or other reasons and who have survived years.

3. These are patients who were treated early with surgery but sometimes have residual lesions or sequels. The echocardiography associated with Doppler examination with color coding is the fundamental tool for assessing these cases from an anatomical point of view and functional and thus to follow up their evolution.



In addition to establishing the most accurate diagnosis possible, it is very important to appreciate the complications:

- One of them is called cyanosis. It is purplish skin coloration produced by the mixture of arterial and venous blood in the area malformed, Aids increased RBCs and, hence, produce thromboembolic events.

- A dangerous infection is bacterial endocarditis that occurs in 8% of patients with congenital heart disease. It can occur for maxillo-facial or dental treatment, upper airway respiratory infections, genitourinary surgery or abortion. The solution is to recommend a medical regimen prevention as appropriate.

- The atrial or ventricular arrhythmias are a serious problem and are produced by the ma l training itself anatomical or surgical scars. Must be treated because deteriorate the patient's functional capacity. To do this, we electrophysiological studies investigating the area of ​​origin, the administration technique ablation or pacemaker implantation or anti-arrhythmic drugs as appropriate.

- Pulmonary hypertension occurs when there is an overload of blood flow in the pulmonary artery by short circuits or abnormal vascular connections and should be treated medically as their impact.

The patients with congenital heart disease, has been discovered in childhood or later in puberty or adulthood, has been corrected surgically or should not go to the cardiologist periodically to assess their status and progression. It is very important to prevent complications such as bacterial endocarditis or treating arrhythmias, or pulmonary hypertension possible to improve functional capacity and access to welfare.

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection
Dr. Pablo Yuste Pescador

By Dr. Pablo Yuste Pescador

Dr. Pablo Yuste Pescador is a specialist in cardiology Madrid highlights. His career highlights not only for his activity as a physician, but also for its vast teaching in various countries of the world, in addition to his numerous publications in national and international journals and books. Has over 40 years experience and is currently physician cardiologist at Clinica La Luz de Madrid.

*Translated with Google translator. We apologize for any imperfection