General Topics

Childhood Heart Conditions | Cardiology

What are common heart conditions in children?

The number of adults living with heart disease and other heart conditions is widely reported, but some of us have found that heart disease affects small hearts as well, and a large number do.

  • It is estimated that between three and five million children worldwide live with chronic rheumatic heart disease, the most serious complication of rheumatic fever.
  • Each year, more than 4,000 children under the age of 5 are diagnosed with Kawasaki disease.

While some children’s heart problems cannot be prevented, there are signs that parents can see, and what parents can do can lead to prior intervention and better outcomes for their children and teens.

Types of heart conditions in children

Here are the most common heart conditions in children which are following:

1. Congenital heart defects

Congenital malformations are abnormalities in the formation of the heart and/or its main blood vessels. These defects 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. Here is a list of common congenital heart defects:

2. Coronary artery fistulas

Coronary artery fistula (CAF) is defined as the irregular connection between the coronary artery and the main vessel or cardiac chamber. It is an unusual form of congenital heart disease. Randomized results of coronary disorders during the angiographic evaluation of coronary vascular disorders.

Most of these fistulas originate from the left anterior descending artery or the right coronary artery. Most of these patients are asymptomatic, but heart failure, angina, myocardial infarction, coronary artery disease, endocarditis, and dyspnea have been described in some cases. Management is complex and recommendations are based on narrative cases of very small recurring sequences.

3. Anomalous pulmonary venous return

Irregular total pulmonary vein return (TAPVR) is a congenital heart defect. Oxygen-rich blood from the lungs does not return to the left atrium. Instead, it returns to the right side of the heart. Here, oxygen-rich blood mixes with oxygen-depleted blood. This gives the baby less oxygen than the body needs.

To live with this defect, children with TAPVR usually have a hole between the right atrium and the left atrium (an atrial septal defect), which allows the mixed blood to reach the left side of the heart and out to the rest of the body. Some children have a separate atrial septal defect and have other heart defects along with TAPVR. Since a child with this defect may need surgery or other procedures immediately after birth, TAPVR is considered a critical congenital heart defect. It means coming with birth at birth.

4. Aortic stenosis/Bicuspid aortic valve

Some people are born with a bicuspid aortic valve, which has an aortic valve, located between the lower left heart chamber (left ventricle) and the main artery leading to the body (aorta), with only three (two) leaflets. People can also be born with one (unicuspid) or four (quadricuspid) cosplay, but these are very rare.

The bicuspid aortic valve narrows the aortic valve of the heart (aortic valve stenosis). This narrowing prevents the valve from opening fully, reducing, or obstructing blood flow from the heart to the body. In some cases, the aortic valve does not close tightly, causing blood to flow back into the left ventricle (aortic valve regurgitation). Most people with a bilateral aortic valve are not affected by valve problems until they become adults, and some may not be affected until adulthood.

5. Atrial septal defect (ASD)

An atrial septal defect (ASD) is a hole in the wall (septum) between the two upper chambers (atria) of the heart. The condition is present at birth (congenital).

Minor bugs can be found accidentally and will never cause a problem. Some small atrial septal defects close in infancy or childhood.

Blood from the holes increases the amount of blood that flows through the lungs. Large, chronic ASD can damage the heart and lungs. Surgery or device closure may be required to correct atrial septal defects and prevent complications.

6. Atrioventricular septal defect (AVSD)

A heart defect called Atrioventricular septal defect (AVSD) in which there are holes between the chambers on the right and left sides of the heart and the valves that control blood flow between these chambers may not be formed correctly.

This condition is also known as the atrioventricular canal (AV canal) defect or endocardial cushion defect. In AVSD, blood usually flows where it shouldn’t go. Blood may have less oxygen than normal, and excess blood flows into the lungs. This excess blood is pumped to the lungs, causing the heart and lungs to work harder and leading to heart failure.

7. Coarctation of the aorta/Interrupted aortic arch

Coronation of the aorta is a congenital (congenital) condition in which the aorta (the main blood vessel that carries oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the body) narrows. The narrow segment (coarctation) is usually small and opens to a normal size beyond the aortic coarctation. However, the correction can cause problems with heart function and high blood pressure.

8. D-Transposition of the great arteries

Dextro-transposition of the great arteries, or D-TGA, is a congenital heart defect in which the two main arteries that carry blood from the heart, the main pulmonary artery and the aorta, become congested or “transposed.” D-TGA is considered a complicated congenital heart defect (CCHD) because a baby with this defect may need surgery or other procedures immediately after birth. It means to come with birth at birth.

9. Ebstein’s anomaly

Ebstein’s deformity, also known as Ebstein’s deformity, is a rare congenital (congenital) heart defect.

In patients with Ebstein’s disorder, the valve (tricuspid valve) between the chambers on the right side of the heart may not close properly. The right side of the heart is where blood returns from the rest of the body and sends it to the lungs to take in oxygen again.

10. Hypoplastic left heart syndrome

A birth defect called Hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) affects normal blood flow through the heart. As the baby develops during pregnancy, the left side of the heart does not form properly. Hypoplastic left heart syndrome is a congenital heart defect. It means to come with birth at birth. HLHS is considered a complicated congenital heart defect (CCHD) because a baby with this defect may need surgery or other procedures immediately after birth.

11. L-Transposition of the great arteries

The bottom section is a completely inverted heart.

This heart defect causes a reversal in the normal blood flow pattern because the lower right and left chambers of the heart are reversed. However, transposition I am less dangerous than transposition because even the great arteries are inverted. This “double inversion” allows the body to continue to receive oxygen-rich blood and the lungs to receive oxygen-depleted blood.

12. Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA)

An unsealed hole in the aorta.

Before a baby is born, the fetus’s blood does not have to go to the lungs for oxygen. The ductus arteriosus is the hole that allows blood to bypass circulation to the lungs. However, when the baby is born, the blood needs to carry oxygen to the lungs and this hole closes. If the ductus arteriosus is still open (or patented), the blood can bypass this necessary circulatory phase. The open hole is called a patent ductus arteriosus.

13. Pulmonary atresia

Pulmonary atresia is a form of heart disease in which the pulmonary valve does not form properly. It is congenital (congenital heart disease). The pulmonary valve opens on the right side of the heart, which controls blood flow from the right ventricle (right-side pumping chamber) to the lungs.

In pulmonary atresia, the valve leaflets converge. It forms a solid sheet of tissue where the valve opening is located. As a result, normal blood flow to the lungs and lungs is blocked. Because of this defect, oxygen from the blood on the right side of the heart cannot reach the lungs.

14. Pulmonary stenosis

Pulmonary stenosis (also known as pulmonary stenosis) means that the pulmonary valve (the valve between the right ventricle and the pulmonary artery) is too small, narrow, or too tight.

The symptoms of pulmonary stenosis depend on how small the narrowing of the pulmonary valve is. If symptoms are mild, pulmonary stenosis should never be treated. But children with more severe pulmonary stenosis need a procedure to repair the pulmonary valve so that blood flows properly through the body.

15. Tetralogy of Fallot

Fallot’s tetralogy (Fuh-Low’s The-Troll-Uh-Ji) is a rare condition caused by a combination of four congenital heart defects.

These defects, which affect the structure of the heart, cause oxygen-deficient blood to flow from the heart to the rest of the body. Babies and children with tetralogy of following usually have blue skin because their blood does not have enough oxygen.

16. Tricuspid atresia

Tricuspid atresia (tri-cusp-id uh-tree-yuh) is a congenital defect of the heart, where the valve that controls blood flow from the right upper chamber of the heart to the lower right chamber of the heart does not form at all. In children with this defect, blood does not flow properly through the heart and to the rest of the body.

17. Truncus arteriosus

Truncus arteriosus also is known as the common trunk, a rare heart defect in which a common blood vessel protrudes from the heart, instead of the two normal vessels (the main pulmonary artery and the aorta).

18. Vascular ring/Sling

The vascular ring is a birth defect in which there is an abnormal structure in the main artery that supplies blood from the heart to the body (aorta) and the blood vessels associated with it. They can be classified as complete when both the trachea and the esophagus are surrounded by vascular dysfunction or incomplete without complete closure of both structures.

19. Ventricular septal defect (VSD)

Ventricular septal defect (VSD), a hole in the heart, is a common congenital heart defect. The hole (defect) occurs in the wall (septum), which separates the lower chambers (ventricles) of the heart and allows blood to flow from left to right into the heart. Excess oxygenated blood is sent back to the lungs rather than outside the body, causing the heart to work harder.

A small ventricular septal defect does not cause problems, and most small VSDs close on their own. Medium or large VSDs may require surgical repair early in life to prevent complications.

20. Dilated cardiomyopathy

Cardiomyopathy is a disease in which the heart muscle becomes weak, stretches, or has another structural problem.

Dilated cardiomyopathy is a condition in which the heart muscle becomes weak and expands. As a result, the heart does not pump enough blood to the rest of the body.

21. Endocarditis

Endocarditis is an infection of the endocardium, the lining of the heart’s chambers, and valves.

Endocarditis usually occurs when there is a spread of bacteria, viruses, fungi to the damaged portion of the heart from already infected parts. If not treated quickly, endocarditis can damage or destroy heart valves and lead to fatal complications. Treatments for endocarditis include antibiotics and, in some cases, surgery.

22. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a disease that affects the heart muscle and causes the muscles to dilate or “hypertrophy.”

23. Kawasaki disease

Kawasaki disease is an illness that causes inflammation (swelling and redness) in the blood vessels throughout the body. It occurs in three stages, and permanent fever is usually the first sign.

This condition most often affects children under 5 years of age. When symptoms are detected and treated early, children with Kawasaki disease may feel better within a few days.

24. Myocarditis

The inflammation of the heart muscle (myocardium). Inflammation of the heart muscle can lead to atrophy or death of heart muscle cells. Myocarditis has many different causes and can lead to many outcomes ranging from mild (brief presentation and resolution) to rapidly developing malignancy. Myocarditis is distinguished from pericarditis because pericarditis is an inflammation of the sac that surrounds the heart and is not associated with the heart muscle as in myocarditis. However, it is not uncommon for a patient to have both pericarditis and myocarditis.

25. Pericarditis

The inflammation of the pericardium is called pericarditis, which consists of two thin layers of a sac-like tissue that surround the heart, holding it in place and helping it function. A small amount of liquid separates the layers so there is no friction between them.

A common symptom of pericarditis is chest pain, which is caused by inflammation of the lining of the sac and rubbing against the heart. It can feel like the pain of a heart attack.

26. Rheumatic fever

Rheumatic fever is an inflammatory disease that develops when strep throat or scarlet fever is not treated properly. Infection with the bacteria Streptococcus (Strep-toe-Coke-US) can cause strep throat and scarlet fever.

Rheumatic fever mainly affects children between the ages of 5 and 15, although it can develop in young children and adults. Although strep throat is common, rheumatic fever is very rare in the United States and other developed countries. However, rheumatic fever is common in many developing countries.

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.