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You are here : AllRefer.com > Health > Diseases & Conditions > Congenital heart disease

Congenital heart disease


Definition

Congenital heart disease refers to a problem with the heart's structure and function due to abnormal heart development before birth. Congenital means present at birth.

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors

Congenital heart disease (CHD) can describe a number of different problems affecting the heart. It is the most common type of birth defect. Congenital heart disease is responsible for more deaths in the first year of life than any other birth defects. Many of these defects need to be followed carefully. Some heal over time, others will require treatment.

Congenital heart disease is often divided into two types: cyanotic (blue discoloration caused by a relative lack of oxygen) and non-cyanotic. The following lists cover the most common of the congenital heart diseases:

Cyanotic:

Non-cyanotic:

These problems may occur alone or together. The majority of congenital heart diseases occurs as an isolated defect and is not associated with other diseases. However, they can also be a part of various genetic and chromosomal syndromes such as Down syndrome, trisomy 13, Turner syndrome, Marfan syndrome, Noonan syndrome, and DiGeorge syndrome.

No known cause can be identified for most congenital heart defects. Congenital heart diseases continue to be investigated and researched. Drugs such as retinoic acid for acne, chemicals, alcohol, and infections (such as rubella) during pregnancy can contribute to some congenital heart problems.

Pictures & Images

Heart, section through the middle
Heart, section through the middle

Heart, front view
Heart, front view

Ultrasound, normal fetus - heartbeat
Ultrasound, normal fetus - heartbeat

Ultrasound, ventricular septal defect - heartbeat
Ultrasound, ventricular septal defect - heartbeat

Patent ductus arteriosis (PDA) - series
Patent ductus arteriosis (PDA) - series

      See all Pictures & Images



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Review Date : 12/21/2009
Reviewed By : Kurt R. Schumacher, MD, Pediatric Cardiology, University of Michigan Congenital Heart Center, Ann Arbor, MI. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.



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