Posted on Sep 24, 2007 | Comments 0
Congenital Heart Disease (CHD), also known as congenital heart defects, is a type of heart disease that occurs in newborns.
This condition results from the structural defects of the heart or the major blood vessels close to the heart during the pregnancy, before the baby’s birth.
Heart, an essential part of the body, is a hollow muscular organ that is responsible for the blood circulation throughout the body.
The blood is circulated all over the body through tubes called blood vessels.
Congenital heart disease is also known as cyanotic heart disease or congenital cardiovascular malformations. It is one of the most common types of birth defects in infants. It is found that eight out of every thousand newborns, in the United States, are affecting with CHD. Yearly, over thirty-five thousand babies are born with congenital heart disease.
The congenital heart disease or defects of the heart takes place during the first eight weeks of the pregnancy. This condition is usually recognized within one week from the childbirth.
Congenital heart diseases are of several types. The types range from trouble-free defects with no signs to very complex defects with severe and life-threatening signs. Most of these types block the blood circulation in the heart or the vessels near the heart, or allow an unusual flow of blood through the heart.
The other types occur when the infant has single ventricle, or when the pulmonary artery and the aorta emerge from single ventricle, or when the heart formation is incomplete.
Patent ductus arteriosus:
This type of congenital heart disease occurs during the development of the fetus, mostly in premature infants. With this defect, there will be an unusual blood circulation between the pulmonary artery and the aorta.
Actually, patent ductus arteriosus is the opening of a passageway between these two blood vessels that is supposed to close within the first few hours or days of the baby’s birth. When it doesn’t close, some of the blood that needs to flow through aorta returns to the lungs, which increases strain on the heart.
Atrial septal defect (ASD):
This type of CDH occurs when there is a hole in the septum, the wall separating either sides of the heart. It allows an abnormal blood circulation through the heart. It is found that, in the United States, yearly over three thousand infants are born with ASD.
Ventricular septal defect (VSD):
This type of congenital heart disease is with a hole in the septum that divides the ventricles (lower chambers of the heart). Due to this, the blood flows back from the left ventricle to the right ventricle. This leads to congestion in the lungs because of an additional volume of blood by the right ventricle into the lungs.
Atrioventricular canal (AVC):
This type of congenital heart disease is very complex. It occurs when there are abnormalities of the structures in the heart such as atrial septal defect, ventricular septal defect, and improper formation of mitral or tricuspid valves.
All these congenital heart disease types’ results in extra volume of blood flow through the lungs.