Congenital Heart Disease

Congenital Heart Disease Symptoms

Different symptoms of congenital heart diseases may occur. These symptoms can be diagnostic during routine controls or when parents notice them. The main of these are fatigue, sweating and not sucking while breastfeeding in newborns and infancy, and thus difficulty in gaining weight. Frequent breathing, difficult breathing, and accordingly bruising, palpitations, fatigue, chest pain can be counted among the main symptoms. In the sum of all these, developmental disorders and the baby's restlessness can be added to the symptoms.

What is a Heart Murmur?

The heart is a 4-chamber structure, with 2 atriums and 2 ventricles. These structures include the vessels that bring and carry blood, and the valves between these vessels and the heart, and between the chambers of the heart. The main function of the heart is to take the oxygen-poor blood coming from the body to the right heart and take it to the lungs through the pulmonary arteries, ensuring that there is oxygen-rich blood here, bringing blood to the left heart and transmitting this oxygenated blood to the whole body. While doing this, there are sounds they make when the valves in the heart are opened and closed. The sounds that occur when the normal flow of blood is disrupted due to stenosis or insufficiency in the heart valves other than these sounds and are heard from the anterior chest wall are called murmurs.

Murmurs can be innocent murmurs or pathological murmurs. It can originate from heart valves or major vessels. By investigating the underlying cause, the disease that causes the heart murmur can be found and treated.

Causes of Congenital Heart Diseases

Congenital heart diseases can be caused by genetic, metabolic and teratogenic factors.

Genetic Factors: Genetic factors account for about 9 percent of congenital heart diseases. Breaks and breaks in chromosomes cause these diseases.

Metabolic Factors: Metabolic diseases (such as diabetes) in the mother constitute 1-2 percent of congenital heart diseases. Metabolic disease in the mother increases the risk of congenital heart disease in the baby. Such pregnancies should be followed carefully and early intervention should be possible when necessary.

Teratogenic Factors: The mother's use of alcohol or cigarettes, exposure to radiation or harmful chemicals, and drug use during pregnancy can cause congenital heart diseases. For a healthy pregnancy, the mother should pay attention to these substances and avoid them as much as possible.

Diagnosis of Congenital Heart Disease

For an effective treatment, the diagnosis must first be made well. A good diagnosis is made by taking a good history from the parents, using the necessary auxiliary diagnostic methods in addition to a good physical examination.

Fetal Echocardiography

This method is used for 18 weeks and beyond. It can diagnose or investigate the structure, pathologies and functional disorders of the heart using ultrasonic sound waves. Almost all congenital heart diseases can be diagnosed with this method. It gives information about heart valves, heart chambers, heart muscles and jars, heart pressure.

Heart Electrocardiography (ECG)

It can simply be defined as measuring the electrical activity of the heart by attaching electrodes to different points on the chest. Although cardiac electrocardiography gives general information about the rhythm and conduction system of the heart, it gives information about heart wall thickening and heart health. It is preferred because it is painless and painless.

In cases where these methods do not yield results, the diagnosis is tried to be made with advanced tests such as MR angiography.

Congenital Heart Disease

In the womb, the heart may not always develop in its normal course and different anomalies may occur. This rate is around 9 per 1000 births. Some of these anomalies will heal without symptoms and treatment, and it is possible to see diseases that can be treated with various methods. Although the causes of the diseases are not known exactly, it is thought to be caused by genetic and environmental factors.

Congenital heart diseases can be diagnosed in the womb or within one year of birth. With fetal echocardiography to be performed while pregnant, it can be understood whether there is a cardiac anomaly and a birth plan can be made accordingly. In this way, the treatment to be applied for postpartum can be planned earlier and time is gained. It should not be forgotten that early diagnosis has a great role in treatment. Early diagnosis can be achieved by applying this method, which is not harmful to the mother and the baby.

After the birth, a diagnosis can be made by referring to the pediatrician in line with the symptoms that will disturb both the baby and the family.

Major congenital heart diseases are:

      Patent Ductus Arteriosus: There is a vein between the pulmonary artery and the aorta in the fetal period and its name is ductus arteriosus. After birth, this artery normally closes and is called the ligamentum arteriosum. If it does not close, the diagnosis of patent ductus arteriosus is made and the oxygen-rich and poor blood mixes, causing the body's oxygen need not to be fully met and fatigue.

      Atrial Septal Defect: It can be defined as the hole in the wall section between the atria, also known as the atria, and the mixing of blood here.

      Ventricular Septal Defect: It is the condition of having a hole in the compartment between the ventricles of the heart.

      Atrioventricular Septal Defect: It is the disease of having a hole between the atrium and the ventricle.

      Pulmonary Stenosis: It is a condition in which stenosis occurs in the pulmonary artery. It may present with a murmur. Depending on the condition of the stenosis in the vein, bruising may occur due to low oxygenation.

      Truncus Arteriosus: It is the condition that the aorta and pulmonary artery, which should come out of the heart separately, come out together through a single hole. It is often accompanied by ventricular septal defect.

      Aortic Stenosis: Stenosis of the aortic valve. The heart has difficulty pumping blood around the body and can cause chest pain.

      Aortic Coarctation: It is narrowing of the aorta at a certain level. Between that level and the heart, blood pressure is high.

      Displacement of the Great Arteries: It is the situation where the aorta and the pulmonary artery are displaced, not from where they should come out, but from the opposite place. The pulmonary artery takes the oxygen-rich blood back to the lungs. The aorta takes the oxygen-poor blood to the body. Normally it should be the other way around.

      Tricuspid Atresia: The tricuspid valve located between the right atrium and the right ventricle is not developed. In this case, blood cannot pass from the right atrium to the right ventricle. The right ventricle remains small and cannot fully develop.

      Pulmonary Atresia: It is the condition where the valve in the artery that carries oxygen-poor blood from the heart to the lungs is not developed. Blood cannot go to the lungs.

      Tetralogy of Fallot: It is the coexistence of 4 different anomalies, including ventricular septal defect, pulmonary stenosis, right ventricular thickening, and protrusion of the aorta from the atria.

      Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome: It is a condition in which the left side of the heart does not develop.

      Total Pulmonary Venous Return Anomaly: It is the opening of oxygen-rich blood coming from the lungs to another place instead of the left atrium. It usually opens into the right atrium.

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