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

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.

Pulmonary Atresia Treatments and Preventive Options | Cardiology

What is pulmonary atresia?

Pulmonary atresia is a congenital heart defect that is usually diagnosed immediately after birth. In pulmonary atresia, the valve that allows blood from the heart to go to your or your baby’s lungs (pulmonary valve) does not form properly. Instead of opening and closing so blood can travel from the heart to the lungs, a solid sheet of tissue is formed. Therefore, the blood does not travel through its normal way to take oxygen from the lungs. Instead, some blood travels to the lungs and lungs through the heart and other natural components in your arteries.

These passages are necessary as your baby develops in the womb, and they usually close immediately after birth. Children with pulmonary atresia often have a blue cast on their skin because they are not getting enough oxygen. Pulmonary atresia is a life-threatening condition. Procedures to correct your baby’s heart condition and medications to help your baby’s heart work more efficiently are the first steps in treating pulmonary atresia.

Symptoms of pulmonary atresia

Symptoms of pulmonary atresia usually appear in the first hours or days of the baby’s life and may include:

  • Fast breathing
  • Blue on the skin, especially on the lips, fingers, and toes.
  • Cold, pale, or burning skin
  • Respiratory problems
  • Fatigue or tiredness
  • Irritated
  • Bad nutrition

Causes of pulmonary atresia

There is no cause for pulmonary atresia. To understand the problems caused by pulmonary atresia, it helps to know how the heart works.

How does the heart work

The heart is divided into four hollow chambers, two on the right and two on the left. In performing its basic function, pumping blood throughout the body, the heart uses its left and right sides for different tasks. The right side of the heart carries blood to the lungs through vessels called pulmonary arteries. In the lungs, the blood carries oxygen and returns to the left side of the heart through the pulmonary veins. Your baby sends blood through the aorta to the left side of the heart to supply oxygen to the body and the rest of the body.

Blood moves in one direction through your baby’s heart through valves that open and close when the heartbeats. The valve that allows your baby to draw oxygen from the heart and lungs to the lungs is called the pulmonary valve. In pulmonary atresia, the pulmonary valve does not develop properly, preventing it from opening. Blood does not flow from the right ventricle to the lungs.

Before birth, a malformed valve is not fatal because the placenta provides oxygen to your baby instead of the lungs. Blood entering the right side of your baby’s heart passes through the hole (foramen ovale) between the upper chambers of your baby’s heart, whereby oxygen-rich blood is pumped through the aorta to the rest of your baby’s body. After birth, your baby’s lungs need to supply her body with oxygen. In pulmonary atresia, without a functioning pulmonary valve, the blood must find another way to get to your baby’s lungs.

Foremen’s ovary usually closes immediately after birth, but remains open in pulmonary atresia. Newborns also have a temporary connection between the aorta and the pulmonary artery (ductus arteriosus). This route allows oxygen to travel through the lungs to the lungs, where your baby can take in oxygen to supply the body. The ductus arteriosus usually closes immediately after birth, but it can be left open with medication.

In some cases, there may be a second hole in the tissue that separates the main pumping chambers of your baby’s heart, called a ventricular septal defect (VSD). VSD allows blood to pass through the right ventricle to the left ventricle. Children with pulmonary atresia and VSD often have additional abnormalities in the lungs and the arteries that carry blood to the lungs. Without VSD, the right ventricle receives less blood flow before birth and often does not fully develop. This is a condition known as pulmonary atresia with the intact ventricular septum (PA / IVS).

Risk factors for pulmonary atresia

In most cases, the exact cause of a congenital heart defect such as pulmonary atresia is unknown. However, there are several factors that increase the risk of having a baby with congenital heart defects, including:

  • Parents with congenital heart disease
  • That delays the mother before conception
  • Smoking before or during pregnancy
  • A mother who does not adequately control her diabetes.
  • The use of certain types of medications during pregnancy, such as some acne medications and blood pressure medications.

Diagnosis of pulmonary atresia

Tests to diagnose pulmonary atresia may include:

  • Bone scan: X-rays show the size and shape of your baby’s internal tissues, bones, and organs. This will help your pediatrician see the extent of your baby’s pulmonary atresia.
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG): In this test, sensor pads attached to wires (electrodes) measure the electrical impulses that your child’s heart gives off. This test detects any abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmia or dysrhythmia) and shows the tension of the heart muscle.
  • Echocardiogram: In an echocardiogram, sound waves create detailed images of your child’s heart. Your pediatrician will usually use an echocardiogram to diagnose pulmonary atresia. Before delivering your baby (fetal echocardiogram), your doctor can diagnose your baby’s pulmonary atresia using an echocardiogram of your abdomen.
  • Cardiac catheterization: In this test, your pediatrician will insert a thin, flexible tube (catheter) into the blood vessel in your baby’s groin and guide your baby’s heart using X-ray images. This test provides complete information about the structure of your heart. baby and his heart, pulmonary artery, and aortic blood pressure and oxygen levels. Your pediatrician may inject a special dye into the catheter so that the arteries are visible under the X-ray.

Treatment of pulmonary atresia

Your child will need emergency medical help once symptoms of pulmonary atresia develop. The choice of surgeries or procedures depends on the severity of your child’s condition.


An intravenous drug called prostaglandin prevents the closure of the natural connection (ductus arteriosus) between the pulmonary artery and the aorta. This is not a permanent solution, but it will give your doctor more time to decide what type of surgery or procedure is best for your child.

Catheterization procedures

In some cases, it can be repaired through a long, thin tube (catheter) that is inserted into a large vein in your baby’s groin and connected to the heart. These policies include:

  • Balloon atrial septostomy: A balloon can be used to expand the natural hole (foramen ovale) in the wall between the two upper chambers of the heart. This hole usually closes immediately after birth. Expanding this increases the amount of blood available to travel to the blood vessels.
  • Stent placement: Your pediatrician can place a stent tube at the natural connection between the aorta and the pulmonary artery (ductus arteriosus). This opening usually closes immediately after birth. Keeping it open allows blood to travel to the lungs.

Heart surgery

The surgical repair needed depends on the size of your child’s right ventricle and pulmonary artery. Babies with pulmonary atresia often require heart operations over time. Some examples:

  • Maneuvers: Creating a shunt (shunt) of the main blood vessels leading from the heart (aorta) to the pulmonary arteries allows adequate blood flow to the lungs. However, babies usually get over this shunt within a few months.
  • Glenn’s approach: In this surgery, one of the large veins that normally returns blood to the heart is connected directly to the pulmonary artery. Another large vein continues to supply blood to the right side of the heart, which sends it through a surgically repaired pulmonary valve. This helps the right ventricle grow.
  • Fonton approach: If the right ventricle is too small to be useful, surgeons can create a pathway using the Fontaine procedure, which, if not most, allows blood to flow directly into the pulmonary artery.
  • Heart transplant: In some cases, the heart is too damaged to repair and a heart transplant may be necessary.

Future treatments

Pulmonary atresia is likely to be repaired one day with fetal surgery during pregnancy. A recent small study has shown good results, but more research is needed.

Lifestyle and home remedies

Here are some tips for caring for your child after you return home from the hospital:

  • Make regular subsequent appointments with your pediatrician: Your baby will need regular appointments with a doctor trained in congenital heart conditions. These appointments should continue even as your child grows older. Ask your pediatrician how often to see your child.
  • Help your child stay active: Encourage regular play and activities that your child can tolerate, with plenty of opportunities for rest and sleep. Being active can help keep your child heart-healthy. As your child grows, talk with a cardiologist about what activities are best for him.
  • Keep up with routine well-child care: Standard vaccinations are encouraged for children with congenital heart defects, as well as vaccines against the flu, pneumonia, and respiratory syncytial virus infections.
  • Preventive antibiotics: Your child’s cardiologist may recommend that your child take preventive antibiotics before certain dental and other procedures to prevent bacteria from entering the bloodstream and infecting the inner lining of the heart (infective endocarditis). Practicing good oral hygiene — brushing and flossing teeth, getting regular dental checkups — is another good way of preventing infection.


  • Without treatment, pulmonary atresia is almost always fatal. Even after surgical repairs, you should carefully monitor your child’s health for any changes that may indicate a problem.
  • People with structural heart problems such as pulmonary atresia have a higher risk of developing endocarditis than the general population. Infective endocarditis is an inflammation of the valves and lining of the heart caused by a bacterial infection.
  • Even after treatment, people born with pulmonary atresia appear to be at higher risk for certain heart problems, such as abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmia) and heart failure in adults.

Prevention of pulmonary atresia

Since the exact cause of pulmonary atresia is unknown, it may not be possible to prevent it. However, there are some things you can do to lower your baby’s risk of congenital heart defects, including:

  • Manage chronic medical conditions: If you have diabetes, controlling your blood sugar can lower your risk of heart disease. If you have other chronic conditions, such as high blood pressure or epilepsy, and you need medications, talk with your doctor about the risks and benefits of these medications.
  • Do not smoke: Smoking cigarettes during pregnancy increases the risk of heart defects in your baby.
  • Maintain a healthy weight: If you’re obese, you have a higher risk of having a baby with a congenital heart defect.
  • Get a German measles (rubella) vaccine: If you develop German measles during pregnancy, it may affect your baby’s heart development. Being vaccinated before you try to conceive likely eliminates this risk. However, no link has been shown between rubella and the development of pulmonary atresia.