What Is a Pharmacological Stress Test Used For? | Cardiology

What Is A Pharmacological Stress Test?

The pharmacological stress test is a diagnostic test used to evaluate blood flow to the heart. During the pharmacological stress test, a small amount of a radioactive tracer is injected into a vein. A special camera, called a gamma camera, detects the radiation from the tracer to produce computer images of the heart.

In combination with medication, the pharmacological stress test can help determine if there is adequate blood flow to the heart during activity versus rest. The drug does not increase the heart rate. The drug widens the blood vessels leading to the heart, which increases blood flow, thereby simulating exercises for patients unable to exercise on a treadmill.

Why may I need a pharmacological stress test?

You may need a pharmacological stress test if you have heart-related symptoms but cannot exercise. Caregivers may also use a pharmacological stress test to do any of the following:

  • Find the cause of symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, and weakness
  • Monitor or diagnose a heart condition, such as heart disease or an irregular heartbeat (abnormal heart rhythm)
  • Check your risk of heart attack
  • Decide if you can have surgery for another health condition

Test procedure

  1. An intravenous (IV) line will be started to allow the technician to inject Cardiolite (the radioactive substance). Cardiolite is a radiological tracer used in computer imaging of your heart that will be taken later. Cardiolite is not a drug or dye and it causes no known side effects or symptoms. After about 45-60 minutes, you will be set up under the camera and asked to lie on your back with your arms over your head for 15-20 minutes.
  2. The second part of your test is the “stress” part. The exercise technician will place electrodes (small patches) on your chest, wrists, and ankles. The lead wires will then be connected to the electrodes.
  3. You will lie on your back for about 20-45 minutes, as you are not required to take this pharmacological stress test. An electrocardiogram (EKG) and blood pressure will be obtained to ensure that there are no major abnormalities preventing the test.
  4. The pharmacological agent (usually Persantine or Lexisan) will be administered for four minutes through the IV line. This medication allows your blood vessels to dilate (increase in size).
  5. There are possible side effects of this drug, such as feeling warm, redness, headache, nausea, or chest pain. If you experience any of these symptoms, a drug called aminophylline may be given intravenously to reverse the symptoms.
  6. After Persantine or Lexiscan has been injected, the second injection of Cardiolite will be given through an IV.
  7. It is your responsibility to inform the testing technician of any symptoms that develop (headache, chest pain, dizziness, lightheadedness, shortness of breath). If any abnormal responses are present, the test may be stopped and/or aminophylline administered.
  8. Then a short recovery period is performed with continuous heart rate, EKG, and blood pressure monitored periodically. Once these measurements get close to the initial or comfort values, you will be disconnected from the screen.
  9. About one hour after the brassantine or Lexiscan injection and the cardio lite injection, you will be taken to the nuclear medicine department to have a second series of images of your heart. You will lie on your back with your arms above your head for 15-20 minutes. You may likewise be approached to lie on your stomach for an extra 15-20 minutes for the second arrangement of pictures.
  10. The cardiologist and nuclear medicine doctor will review and interpret the pharmacological stress test for a follow-up visit or for re-direction to your referring doctor.
  11. Leave approximately 3-4 hours for your procedure as long wait times are required between each step of pharmacological stress testing. Waiting time is necessary to ensure good under-camera images.

What may keep me from having a stress test?

  • You are having an asthma attack
  • You have used a medication containing dipyridamole in the past 24 hours. Dipyridamole is a blood thinner
  • Ask your care provider for more information about medicines that may contain dipyridamole
  • You have consumed foods or drinks containing caffeine in the past 12 hours
  • Your heart rate is 40 beats per minute or less
  • You have a low blood pressure reading
  • You suffer from uncontrolled high blood pressure

Risks and Complications

Like many tests, this pharmacological stress test has some risks. They may include:

  • Shortness of breath or wheezing
  • Fainting, dizziness, or fatigue
  • Rise or fall in blood pressure
  • Nausea or headache
  • Heart attack or stroke (rare)
  • Abnormal heartbeat or heart rate

Diagnosing heart disease with a pharmacologic stress test

A pharmacological stress test helps your primary care physician analyze and oversee coronary illness by:

  • Evaluate symptoms such as chest pain or shortness of breath in patients at risk for coronary artery disease (CAD)
  • Find out how well stents or bypass grafts work in patients diagnosed with CAD
  • Help diagnose heart failure

If the pharmacological stress test results are abnormal, this indicates that the patient has a blockage in a coronary artery. After being reviewed by a cardiologist, this may require more work [examination]. A drug stress test is as good as a stress test at identifying coronary artery disease – a study of 117 heart patients who underwent both types of tests found that when the tests are performed properly, the results are strikingly similar.


Uses and Types of Defibrillators | Cardiology

What Is Defibrillators?

Defibrillators are devices that restore a normal heart rhythm by sending an electrical impulse or shock to the heart. They are used to prevent or correct arrhythmias when the heart rate is uneven or too slow or too fast. Defibrillators can also restore the heart rate if the heart suddenly stops.

Different types of defibrillators work in different ways. Automated Outdoor Defibrillators (AEDs) have been developed in many public places to save the lives of people facing sudden cardiac arrest. Even untrained spectators can use these devices in an emergency.

Other defibrillators can prevent sudden death in people at high risk for malignant arrhythmia. These include implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs), which are surgically placed inside your body, and portable cardioverter defibrillators (WCDs), which are worn over the body. Getting used to living with a defibrillator takes time and effort, and it is important to be aware of the potential risks and problems.

Medical uses

Defibrillation is often an important step in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). CPR is an algorithm-based intervention aimed at restoring heart and lung function. Defibrillation is only indicated in certain types of cardiac dysrhythmia, particularly ventricular fibrillation (VF) and pulseless ventricular tachycardia.

The defibrillator is the newer and more compliant artery, like an occasional or dynamic electrolysis bolus (AEP). Defibrillation is not the only indication that the patient is conscientious or having a poultice. These choices electrify poorly applied by causing a dysrhythmic dance, all quenching ventricular fibrillation.

Types of defibrillators

  • Manual external defibrillator
  • Automated external defibrillator (AED)
  • Advanced Life Support Units
  • Wearable Cardioverter Defibrillators

Manual external defibrillator

More experience and training are needed to operate these defibrillators effectively. Therefore, they are common only in hospitals and in some ambulances with efficient hands. With the ECG, the trained provider determines the heart rate, then psychologically determines the pressure and timing of the shock to the patient’s chest via external paddles.

Automated external defibrillator (AED)

These are defibrillators that use computer technology, making it easy to analyze the heart rhythm and effectively determine if the rhythm is shocking. They can be found in medical facilities, government offices, airports, hotels, sports stadiums, and schools.

Advanced Life Support Units

Advanced Life Support (ALS) units are commonly used in the healthcare context. For example, these are common in ambulances and hospitals. Finally, these devices allow the medical team to monitor a person’s heart rate. If necessary, they can provide an electric shock. Most ALS units are also equipped with an AED function. This mode uses the computer to make shock recommendations based on the individual’s condition.

Other common characteristics are the ability to monitor oxygen, carbon dioxide, blood pressure, and temperature. Some units are also equipped with a heart attack warning system. While some models use paddles, electrodes are generally preferred because they are much safer for the rescuer. Not only that, the more evenly distributed the shock, the more effective it will be.

Wearable Cardioverter Defibrillators

The portable cardioverter defibrillator (WCD) is a medical device used by people at risk of heart failure. For example, they are often prescribed for people who have had a recent heart attack or bypass surgery. People with circulatory disorders may also need the device.

Non-invasive WCDs have two different components: monitor and shirt, the latter of which detects and treats abnormal heart rhythms. A person gets under clothing while the monitor is moved around the waist. Properly covered, it will withstand a lot of adverse conditions. It delivers an electric shock every time a malignant rhythm is detected. Highly effective, it has a 98% first shock success rate.

Who can use a defibrillator?

You don’t need the training to use a defibrillator; anyone can use it. There are clear instructions on how to place the defibrillation pads. Assesses your heart rate and prompts you to shock only if necessary. You cannot accidentally shock, the defibrillator only allows you to shock if necessary.

In a recent survey, a third said they would be confident enough to act if they saw someone having a heart attack. With more CPR training and more awareness, we can change that.

Mechanism of action

The exact mechanism of defibrillation is not well understood. One theory is that successful defibrillation affects most of the heart, causing heart muscle failure to maintain the arrhythmia. Recent mathematical models of defibrillation provide new information on the response of heart tissue to violent electric shocks.


Cardiac Imaging Equipment – an Overview | Cardiology

What Is Cardiac Imaging Equipment?

Cardiac imaging equipment i.e., As innovative technology advances in the medical field, there is also the possibility of inadvertently visualizing the heart and its vascularity. The practice of modern cardiovascular medicine requires not only the diagnosis but also the management of various cardiovascular diseases, as well as the guidance of invasive procedures.

These cardiac imaging equipment methods include myocardial perfusion imaging, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and computed tomography (CT) by echocardiography and nuclear scintigraphy. The Cardiac imaging method par excellence for visualizing the coronary arteries remains the invasive technique of coronary angiography by coronary catheterization.

Each model can be used individually or in combination as cardiac imaging equipment, depending on the desired diagnostic requirements. These studies are now commonly used in conjunction with the medical history, physical examination, and laboratory tests including cardiac imaging equipment to define the practice of modern cardiovascular medicine.

In addition, the appropriate guidelines for the use of these cardiac imaging equipment techniques are now standardized to optimize diagnosis and cost-effectiveness and to evaluate the ideal imaging technique to be used in specific patient situations to minimize risk to the patient. Cardiac imaging tests can explain the structure and function of the heart.

Standard imaging tests & equipment used

Here are the Cardiac imaging tests

  • Chest x-ray
  • CT
  • MRI
  • Echocardiography

Chest x-ray

Chest x-rays are often used as a starting point in diagnosing the heart. Posterior and lateral views provide insight into the atrial and ventricular size and shape and pulmonary vasculature, although additional testing including Cardiac imaging tests is almost always necessary for accurate classification of the structure and function of the heart.


The scanner uses a series of x-ray images along with a body relief contrast dye to provide the most detailed images of the heart and surrounding structures. It provides accurate cardiac visualization and analysis in 30 seconds. UC San Diego Health has three high-definition 64-slice CT scanners.

These 64-slice scanners take images of the heart between beats, providing clearer and more detailed images of the heart that could not be obtained with previous technology.

These advanced CT scanners can deliver radiation only when needed during heart snapshots, further reducing the patient’s exposure to radiation. Since high levels of radiation can cause lifelong health problems, the goal is to get the best quality images with the lowest radiation.


Magnetic resonance imaging which is one of the parts of Cardiac imaging tests visualizes the heart by detecting hydrogen atoms using superconducting magnets, especially those attached to water and fat molecules. These hydrogen atoms are called nuclear spin.

Although the direction of this spin is usually random, the spin can be aligned by a strong magnetic field. When the arrangement of these hydrogen atoms is temporarily altered, faint electromagnetic signals are emitted, which can be detected and used to create a reflection of the heart.

MRI can measure the size, shape, function, and characteristics of heart tissue in a single session. It can reproduce more than echocardiography with low interobserver variability, allowing for more precise reference ranges to better distinguish health from disease.

Additional benefits of cardiac MRI include the ability to detect scarring in the heart using late growth of gadolinium and detect other abnormalities in the heart muscle, such as infiltration of iron or amyloid protein. The drawbacks of MRI include the potential for lengthy protocols and claustrophobia.

Also, some types of pacemakers cannot be scanned by MRI by some people who have metal implants, such as defibrillators, although most modern pacemakers are safe to use with an MRI scanner. Other metallic structures, such as prosthetic valves and coronary stents, are usually not problematic.


The biological effects of diagnostic ultrasound have been documented in experimental studies conducted at the molecular, cellular, and animal levels.17 The effects depend on the characteristics of the sound wave, the sensitivity of the exposed tissue, and the duration of exposure. Effects can be broadly classified as thermal and mechanical effects. With current diagnostic ultrasound technology, biological effects are unlikely to occur directly through the heating of tissues.

Among the mechanical effects of ultrasound, the potential risk is cavitation: formation of microbubbles and rhythmic oscillations produced from gases dissolved in living tissue. The mechanical indicator of the acoustic cavity is developed as an ICT and is displayed as a safety parameter on modern ultrasound machines.

Tissues containing gas-filled contrast agents may show capillary rupture when exposed to ultrasound, but so far there is no evidence that patients or clinical staff pose a significant health risk due to the condition. Exposure to medical ultrasound.

Here are the types of Cardiac imaging tests which are clearly explained how these Cardiac imaging tests are conducted.


What does a 24-hour Holter Monitor detect? | Cardiology

What is a holter monitor?

The Holter monitor is a small, battery-powered medical device that measures your heart’s activity, such as rate and rhythm. Your doctor may ask you to use one if they need more information about how your heart is working than a routine electrocardiogram (EKG) can provide.

A 24-hour Holter monitor is a continuous test to record your heart rate and rhythm for 24 hours. You wear a Holter monitor for 12 to 48 hours while going about your regular daily routine. This device has electrodes and electrical wires just like a regular EKG, but it has fewer leads. It can detect not only your heart rate and rhythm but also when you feel chest pain or symptoms of an irregular heartbeat or an irregular heartbeat.

The Holter monitor test is sometimes called a mobile ECG. There are different kinds of gadgets that can be utilized to gauge heart movement for longer time frames.

Why holter monitor?

In the event that you have signs or manifestations of a heart issue, for example, an unpredictable heartbeat (arrhythmia) or unexplained blacking out, your PCP may arrange a test called an electrocardiogram. An EKG is a short, non-invasive test that uses electrodes attached to your chest to check your heart’s rhythm.

However, sometimes, the EKG doesn’t detect any abnormalities in your heart rhythm because you are only connected to the device for a short time. If your signs and symptoms indicate that an irregular heartbeat may be causing your condition, your doctor may recommend that you wear a Holter monitor for a day or so. Over this time, the Holter monitor may be able to detect an irregularity in your heart rhythm that the EKG cannot detect.

Your doctor may also order a Holter monitor if you have a heart condition that increases your risk of developing an abnormal heart rhythm. Your doctor may suggest wearing a Holter monitor for a day or two, even if you don’t have any symptoms of an abnormal heartbeat.

How would I prepare for a holter monitor?

  • Your health care provider will explain the procedure and you can ask questions.
  • You do not need to fast (neither eat nor drink).
  • Depending on your medical condition, your healthcare provider may require another specific preparation.

What happens during a holter monitor?

Holter monitor is generally recorded on an outpatient basis. Procedures may vary depending on your condition and the practice of your healthcare provider.

In general, Holter screen recording follows this process:

  • You will be asked to remove any jewelry or other items that may interfere with the reading.
  • You will be asked to undress from the waist up so that the electrodes can be attached to your chest. The technician will ensure your privacy by covering you with a sheet or gown and only exposing the necessary skin.
  • The areas where the electrode stains are placed are cleaned, and in some cases, the hair may be shaved or trimmed so that the electrodes are closely attached to the skin.
  • Electrodes will be attached to your chest and abdomen. The Holter monitor will be connected to the electrodes by wires. The small screen box may be worn over your shoulder like a shoulder bag or around your waist or it may be attached to a belt or pocket.
  • Find out if you will have to change the batteries in the display. Make sure you know how to do this and that you have extra batteries on hand.
  • Once you are connected to the monitor and given instructions, you can return to your usual activities, such as work, housework, and exercise, unless your health care provider tells you otherwise. This will allow your healthcare provider to identify issues that may only occur with certain activities.
  • You will be asked to keep a diary of your activities while wearing the screen. Write down the date and time of your activities, especially if any symptoms, such as dizziness, heart palpitations, chest pain, or other previously encountered symptoms, occurred.

After the procedure

Once your observation period is over, you will return the device to your doctor’s office, along with the notes you kept while wearing a Holter monitor. Your doctor will compare data from the recorder and the activities and symptoms you noted.

What are the risks of a Holter monitor?

The Holter monitor is an easy way to assess heart function. The risks associated with a Holter monitor are rare. It can be difficult to keep the electrodes attached to your skin, and you may need extra tape. It can be uncomfortable when removing sticky electrodes and tape. If the electrodes are run for a long time, they may cause tissue breakdown or skin irritation at the application site. There might be different dangers relying upon your particular ailment. Make certain to talk about any worries with your medical care supplier before wearing the screen.

Certain factors or circumstances may interfere or affect the results of a Holter monitor. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Near magnets, metal detectors, high-voltage electrical wires, and electrical appliances such as razors, toothbrushes, and microwave ovens. Cell phones and MP3 players can also interfere with signals and they should be at least 6 inches away from the display box.
  • Smoking or using other forms of tobacco
  • Certain medications
  • Excessive sweating, which may cause the strings to loosen or fall off

Understanding the results

After the test period, the person returns to their doctor to have the screen removed. Provide any notes for the doctor to review and the doctor will consider screen readings and the person’s notes when making a diagnosis.

Holter monitor readings may reveal an underlying heart condition, new symptoms, and potential triggers. It may also help show the problems caused by medications. A person may have to wait for one to two weeks for the test results.

General Topics

Symptoms of Heart Problems in Children | Cardiology

What Is The Pediatric Heart Condition (heart problems in children)?

Pediatric heart disease usually falls into two categories: congenital heart problems, disease, or defects present at birth, and acquired heart disease that develops as a child gets older.

What is a congenital heart defect?

Congenital heart defects (CHD) occur in about 1 in 100 newborn babies as a result of the heart or blood vessels around the heart not developing properly. These heart problems, which can be mild or severe, interfere with the heart’s ability to function as it should. In India, babies are screened for severe birth defects such as heart problems within 24 hours of birth. However, some congenital heart defects, such as atrial septal defects (holes in the heart’s walls), can remain undiagnosed until adolescence or later.

A pediatric cardiologist says, “Detecting heart disease in children has been a top priority for the medical community since the invention of the stethoscope. In the current era, we have become more sophisticated in our methods of screening for heart problems, including prenatal detection of congenital heart defects and heart rhythm abnormalities.” Although you may hear that some doctors use congenital heart disease to refer to congenital heart disease, congenital heart defect is a more accurate term. Both phrases indicate the same thing.

What is acquired heart disease?

Acquired heart disease is the type we often associate with adults, but children and teens can also be affected by it. The most common acquired heart diseases in children are rheumatic heart disease and Kawasaki disease.

What is rheumatic heart disease?

Rheumatic heart disease is the most serious complication of rheumatic fever, which is a disease caused by the bacteria responsible for sore throats. Your child’s immune system can produce antibodies to fight a streptococcus infection, but in some cases these antibodies can damage the heart valves, leading to rheumatic heart disease. Non-cardiac symptoms include joint pain and swelling. A rash on the torso or arms. Skin bumps on the wrist, elbows, or knees; And rapid limb movements. Fortunately, due to the availability of drugs to combat streptococcus, rheumatic heart disease is somewhat rare in India.

What is Kawasaki disease?

Kawasaki disease is a rare disease that primarily affects children and can cause inflammation of the blood vessels in their hands, feet, mouth, lips, and throat. It also results in a fever and swollen lymph nodes. Researchers aren’t yet sure why. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), the disease is a leading cause of heart problems in up to 1 in 4 children. Most of them are under the age of five.

Treatment depends on the extent of the disease, but often includes prompt treatment with intravenous gamma globulin or aspirin (Bufferin). Corticosteroids can sometimes reduce future complications. Children with this disease often need lifelong follow-up appointments to monitor their heart health.

Symptoms of heart problems in children

 A youngster with heart problems could possibly have clear side effects. Symptoms sometimes develop slowly, over time, such as when the child becomes gradually tired. This gradual onset can delay the diagnosis. Other times, there may be a clear and noticeable change that indicates a problem with the heart, such as an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia). Symptoms of heart problems in children can vary according to the child’s age.

One in 100 babies has heart problems, which may also be called a heart defect or congenital heart disease (present from birth). Heart defects can usually be treated with medication, surgery, or other medical procedures. Most tests for heart problems are simple, quick, and painless. Most children with heart problems lead to normal, full lives with very few or no restrictions.

Signs and symptoms

Many children with heart problems appear to be healthy and have no symptoms, and their parents are unaware that they have a heart problem. If babies do develop symptoms, they often appear in the first few weeks after they are born. Common symptoms include: This is a list of the most common symptoms that may indicate a heart problem in children.

In most cases, babies with these symptoms do not have heart problems. For example, some babies naturally sweat more, and many children sweat while they sleep. The cause of palpitations maybe caffeine. Dizziness may indicate that your child is not drinking enough fluids.

However, if your child has any of these symptoms, it is important to tell the pediatrician or primary care doctor. He or she will listen to your child’s heart and perform a full medical evaluation, then decide if a referral to a pediatric cardiologist is appropriate.


  • Breathe with feeds
  • Turning blue inside the mouth (gums/tongue)
  • Sweating with feedings
  • Unconsciousness


  • Physically unable to keep up with other children
  • Breathe with activity faster than other children
  • Sweating with activity sooner than other children
  • Turning blue around the gum/tongue
  • Passing out

Older children/teens

  • Physically unable to keep up with other children
  • Breathe with activity faster than other children
  • Sweating with exercise sooner than other children
  • Turning blue around the gum/tongue
  • Chest pain with exercise
  • Passing out
  • Heart palpitations: Skipping or beating of the heart abnormally
  • Dizziness with exercise

These symptoms are caused by an insufficient supply of oxygen to the body, which occurs because the blood does not contain the usual amount of oxygen, or the heart is not pumping as well as it should.

General Topics

Prevention of Heart Disease Starts in Childhood | Cardiology

What Is Heart Disease Starts In Childhood?

You might think heart disease is a problem for adults and not for your young children. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says, obesity affects 1 in 5 children. Diet and exercise habits that began in childhood can start a heart-healthy life. Or heart damage for life.

Some of the preventable causes of heart disease in adults that begin in childhood are:

  • Obesity
  • Unhealthy diet
  • A buildup of plaque (or fat deposits) in the arteries
  • Diabetes
  • Exposure to cigarette smoke
  • Unhealthy changes in cholesterol levels
  • High blood pressure
  • Lack of physical exercise (sedentary lifestyle)

Despite the fact that the risk of heart disease can run in families, eating a healthy diet can help every child reduce their risk of developing heart disease. In the event that coronary illness runs in your family, converse with your youngster’s medical care supplier about whether their cholesterol and circulatory strain ought to be estimated normally, notwithstanding weight checking.

What can I do to prevent heart disease in my child?

There are many ways to help your child develop healthy lifestyle habits that reduce the risk of heart disease. To start, get regular medical care for your child. This means having at least a yearly physical examination. Regular medical checkups are the best way to detect and treat risks of heart disease that generally do not show symptoms, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

You also need to be smart about food. You can greatly reduce your child’s risk of developing heart disease by providing foods low in fat, sugar, and salt instead of processed foods, such as sausages, potato chips, and biscuits. Snack time is a good place to start. Offer baby-friendly foods, such as baby carrots, apples, or grape slices. Offer baby-sized portions of other healthy foods, such as low-fat yogurt, raisins, and peanuts. Look for baby-friendly breakfast cereals made with whole grains and low in sugar.

Set limits on less mobile entertainment. Computer, television, and video game time should not exceed one to two hours per day. Encourage exercise instead and find ways to make it enjoyable. Children five years and over should get at least 30 minutes of exercise each day. Babies may not like the idea of exercise, but they generally want to play. Encourage active play that matches your child’s interests and abilities. For example, if your child loves video games, consider moving games, which combine video games with physical activity. Better yet, involve the whole family! Join a family-friendly gym, or take a daily walk or bike ride together.

Talk to your children about healthy options and set an example. Children are more likely to develop healthy lifestyle habits if their parents teach them healthy behaviors and practice what they preach.

Healthy food, healthy hearts

A balanced diet is important for children and teenagers, not only to prevent heart disease but also to encourage healthy growth and development. A diet that prevents heart disease has three important parts. The first is to keep your daily caloric intake at the right level. Eating too many calories can cause weight gain and affect the heart, the second being fat reduction. The USDA recommends that children limit the amount of fat – especially saturated fat – that they eat. The third is a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. A good rule of thumb is to eat fruits and vegetables with a variety of colors to get a comprehensive source of nutrients.

Here are guidelines for creating a heart-healthy diet in childhood:

  • Breastfeed for as long as possible. Aim to spend an entire year, even when serving solid foods.
  • Feed your baby mostly fruits and vegetables, along with whole grains, lean protein, and low-fat dairy products. Cut back on red meat and choose leaner cuts if you decide to eat red meat.
  • Watch portion sizes. The recommended daily amounts of healthy foods for children are:
    • 2 ounces of lean protein (fish and poultry) per day for children ages 2 to 3 years, 3 ounces to 4 ounces for children 4 to 8 years old, and 5 ounces to 6 ounces for children ages 9 to 18
    • 2 cups of low-fat dairy products for children under the age of eight, and 3 cups for children ages 9 to 18
    • 5 cups of fruit
    • 5 cups of vegetables
    • 6 ounces of whole grains
  • Don’t eat junk food often. If you eat out, make healthy choices (like a grilled chicken sandwich instead of cheese bacon) and keep portion sizes reasonable.
  • Don’t give your children sugary drinks. Instead, serve water and low-fat milk.
  • Cut sweets and sweets to a minimum and consider using fresh fruit as an alternative to sweets.
  • Choose whole grains like brown rice over refined grains like white rice for more nutrients and fiber.
  • Don’t ask children to finish everything on their plate. Allow the kids to tell you when they feel full.

Healthy lifestyle, healthy heart

Many of the daily choices children and teens make affect their risk of developing heart disease. Here are some options you can encourage your children and teens to make to help protect their hearts:

  • Do about 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity most days of the week in childhood. This can be divided throughout the day into two or more periods of activity.
  • Since many kids trade activity in exchange for sitting in front of the TV or computer, keep screen time less than two hours a day.
  • Do not expose your children to cigarette smoke. Ban smoking in your home and car. Do not take your children to places where people smoke cigarettes. If you smoke, quitting smoking can help you and your children.
  • Remember that you are the most important role model for your children. Your children and teens will learn their best heart-healthy options by watching you.
General Topics

Common Heart Conditions in Children | Cardiology

What Are Heart Conditions In Children?

Heart disease is a very broad term for many things that can go wrong with the heart—in both adults and children. Narrow the focus to children, and the term still encompasses many different types of heart conditions in children that range from a condition that has no symptoms and is never diagnosed, to a problem that is severe and potentially life-threatening that is apparent at birth.

If you are looking for information about a specific disease i.e., heart conditions in children, and would like to know more about its symptoms, how the disease develops over time, and how heart conditions in children are treated, the list below is a good place to start. Some of the most common heart conditions in children are listed as either congenital (present from birth) or acquired (developed after birth).

Congenital heart conditions

  • Anomalous Coronary Arteries/Fistulas
  • Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome
  • L-Transposition of the Great Arteries
  • Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Return
  • Atrioventricular Septal Defect (AVSD)
  • Tricuspid Atresia
  • Truncus Arteriosus
  • Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD)
  • Coarctation of the Aorta/Interrupted Aortic Arch
  • D-Transposition of the Great Arteries
  • Pulmonary Atresia
  • Pulmonary Stenosis
  • Aortic Stenosis/Bicuspid Aortic Valve
  • Atrial Septal Defect (ASD)
  • Ebstein’s Anomaly
  • Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA)
  • Tetralogy of Fallot
  • Vascular Ring/Sling

Acquired heart disease

  • Dilated Cardiomyopathy
  • Rheumatic Fever
  • Kawasaki Disease
  • Myocarditis
  • Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy
  • Pericarditis
  • Endocarditis

Signs of heart conditions in children

Signs of heart conditions in children vary depending on the condition, the child’s age, and whether or not the heart condition or disease was acquired before the baby was born or during infancy.

Heart conditions in children

Signs of potential heart conditions in children can include:

  • Difficulty gaining weight
  • Bluish color to the lips, tongue, or nail bed
  • Difficulty feeding
  • Rapid or rapid breathing, or difficulty breathing, even at rest
  • Fatigue easily while eating
  • Sweating during breastfeeding
  • Call your doctor right away if you notice that your child is showing any of these signs or symptoms

Heart conditions in young children

In young children, look for:

  • Loss of consciousness during physical exercise or activity
  • Heart palpitations: A heartbeat that seems funny or moody for the child
  • Shortness of breath during play or activity
  • Chest pain

What causes heart conditions in children?

Sometimes there is a defect in the walls of the heart (such as a hole in the heart) or a problem with the valves (for example, they may be too narrow or completely blocked). This means either that blue and red blood is mixed together, or the heart may not be pumping well. When these problems occur, the body may not get the normal amount of oxygen.

Usually, a heart defect appears while the baby is still growing in the womb. It is not caused by anything the mother did during pregnancy, and doctors often cannot know the cause of the defect. Sometimes, heart problems are caused by genetic factors (there is a family history of heart defects). Sometimes, childhood illnesses damage the heart. Children can develop heart problems after contracting a viral (virus) infection. However, this is extremely rare.

Treatment of heart conditions in children

Once your child’s problem is diagnosed, the next step is to correct it. For some children, immediate intervention will not be necessary. For others, pharmacologic, interventional catheterization, or surgery may be the recommended course of treatment.


  • ACE (Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme) Inhibitors: ACE inhibitors relax arteries throughout the body, lower blood pressure and reduce the workload on the heart. It is useful in treating heart failure and high blood pressure. Medicines commonly used in this class are captopril, enalapril, and lisinopril.
  • Antiarrhythmics: A group of medicines used to treat heart rhythm disorders.
  • Beta-Blockers: A class of drugs used to treat various disorders related to the circulatory system. These medications slow the effect of adrenaline, slow the heart rate, reduce pressure in blood vessels, and reduce the strength of heart contractions. They are useful for treating heart failure, high blood pressure, and some heart rhythm disorders. It is also used to control migraines and fainting spells. This large group includes propranolol, atenolol, and metoprolol.
  • Digoxin: Digoxin (a type of digitalis) is one of the oldest heart medications, it makes the contraction of the heart muscle stronger and more efficient, slows the heart rate, and helps remove excess fluid from the body tissues. It’s sometimes used to treat heart failure and some heart rhythm disorders. Lanoxin is a popular drug in this class.
  • Diuretics: In children, diuretics are the medications most commonly used to manage mild to moderate degrees of congestive heart failure. These medications help the body get rid of water and salt. This group includes furosemide (“Lasix”), bumetanide, and spironolactone.

Interventional catheterization

For the many children with heart problems, surgery was the only treatment option. Today, minimally invasive procedures, such as interventional catheters, are often considered the first treatment option and are performed routinely in place of surgery. Interventional catheterization can provide a permanent solution for some conditions or a short-term solution for heart conditions in children who will need surgery later.

Diagnostic vs. Interventional catheterization

What is the difference? In terms of what your child will experience, and how you will prepare for the procedure, there is very little, if any, difference between diagnostic and interventional catheters. In both procedures, thin, flexible catheters are inserted into a vein or artery in the groin area and directed to the heart.

Catheters and balloon stents may be used to open narrowed valves or arteries. There are also special files and devices that are inserted through the catheter, used to block unwanted blood vessels and holes in the wall between the chambers of the heart.

Advanced imaging for earlier diagnosis

Our PCPs and emergency clinics utilize the most recent imaging gear and innovation to rapidly and precisely analyze an assortment of cardiovascular sicknesses, so patients can get therapy as fast as could reasonably be expected.

In the event that your youngster gives indications or manifestations of procured coronary illness, our pediatric cardiologist will probably suggest either an echocardiogram or attractive reverberation imaging of the heart (MRI). An echocardiogram is a non-invasive cardiology procedure that uses sound waves to evaluate the heart’s structure and function. An echocardiogram is used to diagnose and monitor the progression of this heart disease. However, in some cases, the cardiologist may want a more specialized image of your heart called a cardiac MRI. Cardiac MRI can produce 3D images of heart organs and tissues that enable specialists to more accurately evaluate heart function, the extent of the infection, or inflammation of the heart in disorders such as myocarditis.


After your child is treated for a heart defect, he or she will have regular check-ups with the cardiologist and/or pediatrician. For problems not related to their heart, they can still see your GP. If you are concerned about your child, talk to your child’s doctor, pediatrician, or cardiologist.

General Topics

What are Heart Problems in Children? | Cardiology

Overview of heart problems in children

Congenital malformations are abnormalities in the formation of the heart and/or its main blood vessels. These heart problems occur at birth in eight out of 1,000 babies, but go undiagnosed for many years. The abnormalities range from simple defects, such as a small hole in the wall between the two chambers of the heart, to more complex problems.

Although congenital heart defects are one of the most common birth defects, it can be difficult to know if your child has one. Most heart problems recover during pregnancy or immediately after birth, but others may not be apparent until the baby is a little older.

Heart disease in children

Heart disease is very difficult when touched by adults, but it is especially tragic in children. Heart disease can occur for a variety of reasons, from viral infections to chromosomal abnormalities, and can arise as problems secondary to other diseases or conditions in the body. In most cases, the cause of heart disease is unknown.

The good news is that with the advancement of medicine and technology, many children with heart disease are living full and active lives.

Causes of heart problems in children

A congenital heart defect is a condition (or one of the main heart problems in children) that you are born into. Certain genetic (inherited) diseases or disorders, such as Down syndrome, are associated with congenital heart defects. Certain substances or diseases that a pregnant woman is exposed to can cause congenital heart defects in the fetus, some of which include prescription drugs, rubella (German measles), and uncontrolled diabetes.

Risk factors for heart problems in children

Risk factors for these heart problems in children are divided into two categories: major and contributing. The major risk factors of heart problems in children have been shown to increase your risk of heart disease. There is a risk of heart disease due to proportionate risk factors.

If you have higher risk factors, you are more likely to have heart disease. Some risk factors of heart problems in children can change, treat, or modify and others cannot. But by controlling as many risk factors as possible through lifestyle changes, medications, or both, you can lower your risk of heart disease.

Major risk factors for heart problems in children are:

  • High blood pressure (Hypertension)
  • High blood cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity and Overweight
  • Smoking
  • Physical Inactivity
  • Gender
  • Heredity
  • Age

Contributing risk factors to heart problems in children are:

  • Stress
  • Sex hormones
  • Birth control pills
  • Alcohol

Symptoms of heart problems in children

  • Heart murmurs (abnormal heartbeats), depending on the location and nature of the disorder.
  • Symptoms of cardiac arrest, increased breathing rate, shortness of breath, tachycardia
  • “Blue baby” syndrome, in which the skin changes color from lack of oxygen to blue or purple.
  • Clubfoot or spread with a nail that extends the fingers and toes
  • An abnormal increase in red blood cell circulation.
  • Liver dilation
  • Pulse that is hard to hear or has no pulse
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Signs of organ failure, including low urine output or kidney failure
  • The expansion of the heart’s chambers results in the need to work harder to overcome the defect.

Diagnosis of heart problems in children

To diagnose a congenital heart defect or any heart problems in children, your doctor may recommend that you or your baby have some of the following tests and procedures:

  • Echocardiography: Track your / your child’s progress over time to diagnose or not diagnose heart failure. Fetal echocardiography can sometimes diagnose congenital heart defects before the baby is born.
  • Electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG): To evaluate the rhythm of the heartbeat.
  • Cardiac catheterization: Measure the pressure and oxygen levels within the chambers of the heart and blood vessels. This helps to know if blood is flowing from the left side of the heart to the right side of the heart instead of going to the rest of the body.
  • Chest X-ray: To show if the heart is dilated. It also shows whether there is excess blood flow or excess fluid in the lungs, which is a sign of heart failure.
  • Genetic testing: To find out if specific genes or genetic syndromes like Down syndrome are causing congenital heart defects. Your doctor can refer you or your child to a genetic testing specialist.
  • Cardiac MRI: Track your / your child’s progress over time to diagnose heart failure or not.
  • Pulse oximetry: Estimate the amount of oxygen in the blood. The small sensor is placed on the hand or foot of the baby or on the finger or toe of the elderly person.

Treatment for heart problems in children

Treatment for heart problems in children depends on the part of the heart affected. Some children do not need treatment if the effect on blood flow is minimal. Others require medication or intervention, such as cardiac catheterization or surgery. Some heart problems in children may not be treated right away, but wait until the child is an adult. Some heart problems in children are dealt with in stages. In such cases, there are options:

● Medications: Many medications help the heart work more efficiently. Some are also useful for preventing blood clots and controlling irregular heartbeats.

● Implantable heart devices: Some devices, such as pacemakers, can help control abnormal heart rates and implantable cardiovascular defibrillators (ICDs), which can correct irregular heart rates and prevent some of the problems associated with congenital heart defects.

● Catheter procedures: These allow doctors to surgically correct or repair congenital heart defects without opening the chest or heart. Here, the doctor inserts a catheter through a vein in the leg to guide the heart. Using small tools threaded through the catheter, he/she proceeds to correct the error. With the advancement of technology, many heart defects can be closed at the cathode in cathode procedures. This reduces the risks and complications of heart surgery.

● Open-heart surgery: These may be necessary if catheter procedures do not correct the error. These can close the openings of the heart, dilate the blood vessels, or repair the heart valves.

● Heart transplant: In cases where the congenital heart defect is too difficult to repair, a heart transplant may be used. In the process, the healthy donor heart replaces the patient’s heart.

Complications of heart problems in children

Congenital heart disease or heart problems in children can cause complications including:

  • Arrhythmia: The heart may beat very fast, very slow, or abnormally due to a defect or scarring after surgery.
  • Congestive heart failure: When the heart cannot efficiently pump oxygen-rich blood to the rest of the body, symptoms affect various body systems.
  • Heart infections (endocarditis): This infection of the thin layer that lines the inside of the heart occurs when bacteria or other germs enter the bloodstream from another part of the body and remain in the heart. If left untreated, it can damage your heart valves or lead to a stroke.
  • Pulmonary hypertension: This type of high blood pressure only affects the arteries in the lungs. Some heart defects cause more blood to flow to the lungs. As pressure increases, the heart has to work harder, causing the muscles to weaken and sometimes fail. Permanent damage to the pulmonary artery can also occur.
  • Slower growth and development: Children with severe congenital heart defects may be younger and learn to walk and talk later than other children.
  • Stroke: Although rare, blood clots can travel to the brain through a hole in the heart or occur during corrective surgery.
General Topics

Congenital Heart Defects in Children – an Overview | Cardiology

What are congenital heart defects in children?

Congenital heart defects in children (CHDs) are the most well-known sort of birth deformity. With advances in medical care and treatment, children with CHD live longer and healthier lives. Find out more facts about coronary heart disease below.

What are congenital heart defects (CHDs)?

Coronary artery disease is present at birth and can affect the structure and functioning of a baby’s heart. It can affect how blood flows through the heart and out to the rest of the body. Coronary artery disease can vary from mild (such as a small hole in the heart) to severe (such as missing or poorly formed parts of the heart).

About 1 in 4 babies born with a heart defect suffer from critical coronary heart disease (also known as a serious congenital heart defect). Babies with critical coronary heart disease need surgery or other procedures in the first year of life.

Types of congenital heart defects in children

Babies and children with all types of congenital heart defects receive expert diagnosis and treatment from specialists at the Pediatric Congenital Heart Program. Congenital heart defects in children occur at birth and affect the heart or blood vessels. Hundreds of heart defects can arise as a baby develops in the womb, and some infants may have more than one. Some defects cause no health challenges for years; in fact, some may never pose a health risk.

However, many infants require treatment with surgery or catheter procedures to repair congenital heart defects in children immediately or in the first few months of life. Others may need medication as a bridge to surgery or other procedures, or as the only therapy to manage symptoms.

Our experts treat babies and children with all types of congenital heart defects in children, including:

  • Aortic valve stenosis
  • Atrial septal defect
  • Ebstein’s anomaly
  • Hypoplastic left heart syndrome
  • Interrupted aortic arch
  • Coarctation of the aorta
  • Complete atrioventricular canal defect
  • Patent ductus arteriosus
  • Total anomalous pulmonary venous return
  • Transposition of the great arteries
  • Tricuspid atresia
  • Pulmonary valve stenosis
  • Tetralogy of Fallot
  • Truncus arteriosus
  • Ventricular septal defect

Symptoms of congenital heart defects in children

Serious congenital heart defects in children usually appear soon after birth or within the first few months of life. They can include signs and symptoms:

  • Pale gray or blue skin color (cyanosis)
  • Rapid breathing
  • Swelling in the legs, abdomen, or areas around the eyes
  • Shortness of breath during feeding, resulting in poor weight

Less serious congenital heart defects in children may not be diagnosed until later in childhood, because your child may not show any noticeable signs of a problem. If signs and symptoms occur in older children, they may include:

  • Feeling short of breath easily during exercise or activity
  • Fatigue easily during exercise or activity
  • Fainting during exercise or activity
  • Swelling in the hands, ankles, or feet

Causes of congenital heart defects in children

Doctors don’t always know why a child has a congenital heart defect. It tends to run in families. Things that make congenital heart defects in children more likely include:

  • Genetic or chromosomal problems in a child, such as Down syndrome
  • Taking certain medications or alcohol or drug abuse during pregnancy
  • A viral infection, such as rubella (rubella) in the mother in the first trimester of pregnancy

How are heart defects treated?

Youngsters with minor heart deformities may not require any treatment. However, some children suffer from severe symptoms that require medical or surgical treatment during the first year of life. They will be taken care of:

  • Pediatric cardiologists: Doctors who specialize in treating children’s heart problems
  • Pediatric heart surgeons: Specialists in pediatric heart surgery

Procedures performed through cardiac catheterization – such as balloon angioplasty or valvuloplasty – can dilate blood vessels or a blocked valve. Another procedure, blockage of the catheter device, can close abnormal openings or holes in the heart or blood vessels without surgery.

Some problems, such as small or medium-sized ventricular septal defects, may close or get smaller as the child grows. While waiting for the hole to close, the child may have to take medications. Complex Congenital heart defects in children detected early may need a series of processes ending when the child is approximately 3 years old.

Testing and diagnosis of congenital heart disease

Several serious congenital heart diseases are detected during pregnancy, during a routine ultrasound examination. Other conditions may be diagnosed soon after birth. Less serious heart conditions may not be diagnosed until children get older and begin to show certain signs or symptoms of congenital heart disease.

During pregnancy, if your doctor thinks your baby may have CHD, you will likely be referred to a pediatric cardiologist for further testing. The type of diagnostic tests performed will depend on the form of coronary heart disease your child may have. Examples of tests used include a fetal echocardiogram, electrocardiogram (EKG), magnetic resonance imaging of the heart (MRI), and cardiac catheterization. If you are referred to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, you will be seen through the Heart Center’s Fetal Heart Program.

Risk factors for congenital heart defects in children

Most Congenital heart defects in children are caused by problems early in the development of your baby’s heart, and the cause is unknown. However, some environmental and genetic risk factors may play a role. They include:

  • Rubella (German measles): German measles infection during pregnancy can cause problems with the development of your baby’s heart. Your doctor can test for immunity to this viral disease before pregnancy and vaccinate you against it if you are not immune.
  • You can reduce the risk of Congenital heart defects in children by carefully controlling diabetes before trying to conceive and during pregnancy. Gestational diabetes generally does not increase your baby’s risk of developing a heart defect.
  • Some medications taken during pregnancy may cause birth defects, including congenital heart defects. Provide your doctor with a complete list of all medications you take before trying to conceive.
  • Medicines known to increase the risk of congenital heart defects include thalidomide (Thalomide), angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors (ACE), statins, acne medication isotretinoin (Absorica, Amnstim, and Claravis), and lithium.
  • Drinking alcohol during pregnancy: Avoid drinking alcohol during pregnancy because it increases the risk of Congenital heart defects in children.
  • Smoking during pregnancy increases the likelihood of a congenital heart defect in the baby.
  • Congenital heart defects in children sometimes run in families and may be associated with an inherited syndrome. Many children with Down syndrome – which is caused by an extra chromosome 21 (trisomy 21) – have heart defects. A missing (deleted) piece of genetic material on chromosome 22 also causes heart defects.
  • Genetic testing can detect such disturbances during fetal development. If you already have a baby with a congenital heart defect, a genetic counselor can estimate the odds that your next child will have it.

Complications of congenital heart defects in children

Complications depend on the type of congenital heart defect you have. Include some potential complications:

  • Arrhythmia
  • Blood clots
  • Developmental disorders and delays: Children with congenital heart defects are more likely to have behavior problems. They are also more likely to have speech and attention-deficit / hyperactivity disorder.
  • Emotional health issues: Depression, anxiety, and PTSD are common among people with congenital heart defects.
  • Endocarditis: A type of heart inflammation
  • Endocrine disorders: Include thyroid problems, bone health problems, and diabetes. Problems with the hormones that deal with calcium can cause bone problems.
  • Heart failure: Heart failure is the leading cause of death in adults with congenital heart defects. Some children with congenital heart defects develop heart failure.
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Pneumonia: Pneumonia is a leading cause of death in adults with congenital heart disease.
  • Pregnancy complications: Women with congenital heart defects are at increased risk of developing complications during pregnancy and childbirth. Read more in the Living With section.
  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Stroke

Outlook and follow-up care for congenital heart disease

Children with congenital heart disease are monitored by specialists called pediatric cardiologists. These doctors diagnose heart disease and help manage children’s health before and after surgical repair of a heart problem. The specialists who correct heart problems in the operating room are known as pediatric cardiovascular surgeons or cardiothoracic surgeons.

It is imperative that individuals born with congenital heart disease who have reached adulthood transition to the appropriate type of heart care. The type of care required depends on the type of CHD the person has. Generally, people with mild types of Congenital heart defects in children can be cared for by a community adult cardiologist. People with more complex types of coronary heart disease will need care at a center that specializes in adult congenital heart disease, such as the Philadelphia Adult Congenital Heart Center.

How can congenital heart disease be prevented?

Women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant can take certain precautions to reduce the risk of having a baby with a congenital heart defect:

  • If you are planning to become pregnant, talk to your doctor about any prescription or over-the-counter medicines you are taking.
  • If you have diabetes, make sure your blood sugar levels are controlled before pregnancy. It is also important to work with your doctor to manage illness during pregnancy.
  • If you have not been vaccinated against rubella or rubella, avoid exposure to the disease and talk to your doctor about prevention options.
  • If you have a family history of congenital heart defects, ask your doctor about genetic testing. Certain genes may contribute to abnormal heart development.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol and using drugs during pregnancy.
General Topics

Heart Disease in children & Infants | Cardiology

What is heart disease in children?

Heart disease is very difficult when touched by adults, but it is especially tragic in children. The effect of heart diseases in children is more. These include congenital heart defects, viral infections that affect the heart, and heart disease acquired in childhood due to a genetic disease or syndrome. The good news is that with the advancement of medicine and technology, many children with heart disease are living full and active lives.

Types of heart diseases in children

Here is the most common heart disease in children which are following:

1. Congenital heart disease

If your child has a congenital heart defect, it means that your baby was born with a problem with the structure of his heart. Some congenital heart defects in children are simple and do not require treatment. Other congenital heart defects in children are more complex and require multiple surgeries over many years.

Knowing about your child’s congenital heart defect can help you understand the situation and what to expect in the months and years to come.

Signs & symptoms

In some cases, symptoms of congenital heart disease do not appear until after birth. Newborns with heart defects may experience:

  • Blue lips, skin, fingers, and toes
  • Shortness of breath or trouble breathing
  • Difficulties in eating
  • Low birth weight
  • Chest pain
  • Growth retardation

In other cases, symptoms of a congenital heart defect do not appear until many years after birth. As symptoms develop, they can include:

  • Abnormal heart rhythms
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Epilepsy
  • Inflammation
  • Fatigue

2. Atherosclerosis

The formation of fat and cholesterol in the arteries causes the arteries to harden and narrow, increasing the risk of heart disease, stroke, and cardiac arrest. Children can be diagnosed with atherosclerosis just like adults.

Arteries are muscular tubes that carry oxygen-rich blood from the heart to tissues throughout the body. When the tubes are narrow, they cannot carry blood throughout the body and less blood reaches the tissues.

Signs & Symptoms

Symptoms of your coronary arteries:

Pain or pressure in the upper body, including the chest, arms, neck, or jaw. This is called angina.

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Symptoms of the arteries that supply blood to your brain:
  • Numbness or weakness in your arms or legs
  • It is very difficult to speak or understand the speakers.
  • Relax facial muscles
  • Paralysis
  • Intense headache
  • Difficulty seeing with one or both eyes.
  • Symptoms related to the arteries in your arms, legs, and pelvis:
  • Leg pain when walking
  • Numbness
  • Symptoms of the arteries that supply blood to the kidneys:
  • Hypertension
  • Renal insufficiency

3. Arrhythmias

Arrhythmia means any change in the normal rhythm of the heartbeat. If your child has an arrhythmia, her heart may be beating too fast or too slow, or she may have extra or extra beats. Arrhythmia can occur from a physical condition such as heart failure in response to external factors such as fever, infection, and certain medications. Crying and playing also briefly change a child’s heart rate.

Signs & Symptoms

Children with arrhythmia may not have any symptoms. For those who do, these are the most common symptoms:

  • You feel weak
  • Feeling tired
  • Feel your heartbeat (palpitations)
  • Low blood pressure
  • She feels dizzy
  • Epilepsy (syncope)
  • Not eating or eating well

The symptoms of an arrhythmia may be similar to other heart conditions or problems. Make sure your child sees their healthcare provider for a diagnosis

4. Kawasaki disease

Kawasaki disease is a disease in which the blood vessels become inflamed, most often in young children. It is one of the leading causes of heart disease in children. But it can be treated if doctors find it early. Most children recover without problems.

Signs & Symptoms

Kawasaki disease begins with a fever over 102 degrees and lasts for at least five days. Other signs and symptoms may include:

  • The rash can appear anywhere on the body but is most severe in the diaper area
  • Red, bloody eyes without pus, discharge, or scabs
  • Swelling and tenderness of the gland (lymph node) on one side of the neck
  • Swelling of the hands and feet with redness of the palms and soles of the feet
  • Very red, swollen, and chapped lips; Strawberry-like tongue with rough red spots
  • Significant irritability and confusion
  • Peel fingers and toes (2 to 3 weeks after onset of fever)

5. Heart murmurs

The heart murmur is the extra or abnormal sounds caused by the turbulent blood flowing through the heart. Murmurs range from 1 to 6, depending on how loud they are. One is a very low murmur. Six means a very loud murmur.

Signs & Symptoms

If you have a benign heart murmur, commonly known as an innocent heart murmur, you have no other signs or symptoms. The abnormal heart murmur doesn’t cause any other obvious signs or symptoms, just put aside the unusual sound your doctor hears when listening to your heart with a stethoscope. If you have these signs or symptoms, they may indicate a heart problem:

  • Skin that appears blue, especially on the fingers and lips
  • Sudden swelling or weight gain
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chronic cough
  • Enlarged liver
  • Dilated jugular veins
  • Lack of appetite and lack of normal growth (in babies)
  • Heavy sweating with little or no effort
  • Chest pain
  • Dizziness
  • Epilepsy

6. Pericarditis

Pericarditis is an inflammation or infection of the pericardium, a thin sac around the heart. There is a small amount of fluid between the inner and outer layers of the pericardium.

When the pericardium is inflamed, the amount of fluid between its two layers increases, compressing the heart and interfering with the heart’s ability to function properly.

Signs & Symptoms

The following are common symptoms of pericarditis. However, each child may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms can include chest pain:

  • Sensation especially behind the breastbone and sometimes the clavicle (clavicle), below the neck and left shoulder
  • Sharp, stabbing pain in the middle or left side of the chest increases when the child breathes deeply
  • Low fever
  • Irritated
  • Fatigue
  • Lack of appetite
  • Arrhythmia

Children may not be able to describe themselves as having “chest pain” or explain how they feel. Sometimes children may express specific symptoms such as irritability, loss of appetite, or fatigue.

7. Rheumatic heart disease

Arrhythmia means any change in the normal rhythm of the heartbeat. If your child has arrhythmia, her heart may be beating too fast or too slow, or she may have extra or extra beats. Arrhythmia can occur from a physical condition such as heart failure in response to external factors such as fever, infection, and certain medications. Crying and playing can also briefly change a child’s heart rate.

Signs & Symptoms

Rheumatic fever can be due to:

  • Carditis: inflammation of the heart muscle and heart tissue. Carditis causes a rapid heart rate, fatigue, shortness of breath, and exercise intolerance. It is the most serious of symptoms and can have long-term health effects. About 50 percent of people with rheumatic fever develop carditis
  • Arthritis: Swelling, redness, and pain in the joints, especially in the knees, ankles, elbows, and wrists. It is a common symptom and occurs in about 70 percent of people with rheumatic fever
  • Itchy rash without a splash
  • Subcutaneous nodules – small, tight lumps under the skin
  • Fever
  • Chorea: Involuntary movement of limbs