What is congenital heart disease (CHD)?

Congenital heart disease – is caused in utero (before birth) anatomic defects of the heart, its valve apparatus or its vessels. These defects may occur alone or in combination with each other.

Congenital heart disease may manifest itself immediately after birth or may occur in private. Congenital heart defects occur with a frequency of 6-8 cases per thousand births, accounting for 30% of all malformations. They occupy the first place in infant mortality and children in the first year of life. After the first year of life, mortality dropped sharply, and in the period from 1 year to 15 years are killed no more than 5% of children. Clearly, this is a big and serious problem.

Treatment of congenital cardiac anomalies is only possible through surgery. Thanks to the success of complex cardiac surgery became possible reconstructive surgery for previously inoperable CHD. In these conditions, the main task of the organization to help children with CHD is the timely diagnosis and the provision of skilled care in the surgical clinic.

The heart is, as it were, an internal pump, composed of muscle that continually pumps blood through a complex network of blood vessels in our body. The heart has four chambers. The top two are called atria and two ventricles, the lower chambers. Blood series comes from the atria to the ventricles, and then into the main artery through the four heart valves. Valves open and close the blood flowing in one direction only. Therefore, the correct and safe operation of the heart due to good construction.

The causes of congenital heart defects

One of the important factors is also the father’s health.

Funds are also risk factors for having a child with CHD. They are: maternal age, endocrine diseases spouses, toxemia, and the threat of termination I trimester of pregnancy, stillborn in history, the presence of children with congenital malformations in the immediate family. Quantify the risk of having a child with CHD in the family can only genetics, but to give a preliminary forecast and direct parents to health and biological advice can every physician.

Manifestations of congenital heart defects

With a large number of different UPU seven of them are the most common: ventricular septal defect (VSD) – about 20% of all cases of congenital heart disease, and atrial septal defect (ASD), patent ductus arteriosus (PDA), coarctation of the aorta, aortic stenosis, pulmonary stenosis, and transposition of the great arteries (TCS) on 10-15% each.

There are more than 100 different congenital heart defects. Classifications, a lot of them, the last classification, which is used in Russia, follows the International Classification of Diseases. Often used in the separation of defects at the blue, accompanied by cyanosis of the skin and whites in which the skin pale coloring. By vices blue type is tetralogy of Fallot, transposition of the great arteries, pulmonary atresia, to vice white type atrial septal defect, ventricular septal defect, and others.

The earlier revealed a congenital heart defect, the more hope for its timely treatment. The doctor may suspect that a child has a heart defect on several grounds:

A child at birth or shortly after birth has a blue or bluish color of the skin, lips and ears. Or cyanosis occurs when breast-feeding, crying baby. With white heart defects may paleness of skin and cold extremities.

Doctor detects when listening to the heart sounds. The noise of a child is not a mandatory feature of heart disease, however, it causes the heart to examine more.

The child show signs of heart failure. Usually this is a very unfortunate situation.

Detects changes in the electrocardiogram, X-rays, with echocardiography.

Even with a congenital heart defect, some time after the birth of a child may look outwardly quite healthy for the first ten years of life. However, in future heart disease begins to manifest itself: child falls behind in physical development, shortness of breath during physical exertion, pallor or cyanosis of the skin. To set the true diagnosis requires a comprehensive examination of the heart with the use of modern high-tech expensive equipment.


Since the causes of congenital heart disease is still poorly understood, it is difficult to determine the necessary preventive measures that would guarantee the prevention of congenital heart defects. However, the concern of parents about their health can greatly reduce the risk of congenital diseases in children.


When detected early, and the possibility of radical treatment of relatively favorable prognosis. If this is not possible or doubtful adverse.

What can your doctor?

Treatment of CHD in principle be divided into surgery (in most cases it is the only radical) and therapeutic (usually a subsidiary).

The most common question put on surgical treatment before birth, when it comes to “blue vices”. Therefore, in such cases, the delivery should take place in hospitals with cardiac surgical hospitals.

Therapeutic treatment is necessary if the timing of the operation can be postponed to a later date.

If the issue is “pale vices”, the treatment will depend on how you will behave flaw as the child grows. Most likely, everyone will be a therapeutic treatment.

What can you do?

Should be very attentive to their health and the health of their unborn child. Deliberately come to the question of procreation.
If you know that your family or a family of husband / wife have relatives with heart defects, it is likely that the child may be born with a heart defect.
In order not to miss those moments pregnant must notify your doctor about it, to go through all ultrasound during pregnancy.

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