Congenital Heart Disease Definition

What is congenital heart disease?

Congenital heart diseases are heart defects occur even before birth. They are quite common: at nearly 1% of newborn children.

Sometimes it is immediately apparent that something is wrong with the heart of the baby. The baby looks very blue at birth and have breathing problems. The doctor listens to the heart and hearing disorders.
But it can also prevent heart disease for a long time unnoticed. Someone then comes adulthood until later. Often there are complaints for years, such as:
  • tiredness;
  • less stamina;
  • shortness of breath;
  • often fainting;
  • often respiratory tract infections (primarily bronchitis and pneumonia);
  • sometimes bluish lips and nails.
Do you have such symptoms? Make an appointment to see a doctor. Your doctor examines what is causing your symptoms. They suspect that you have a congenital heart disease? Ask if they can send it to a heart center in a university hospital. This work cardiologists who specialize in congenital heart disease.

People with congenital heart disease are being treated by a cardiologist. The cardiologist speaks to how often checks are necessary. A simple congenital heart defect is usually once every five years. In a complicated heart defect requires an annual inspection.

 Congenital heart diseases are heart defects occur even before birth Congenital Heart Disease Definition

Forms of congenital heart disease

There are different types of congenital heart disease. Often the heart is not 'built' good. There are then abnormalities in the structure of the heart and / or the large vessels. Examples are:
  • atrial septal defect (hole in the wall between the atria);
  • ventricular septal defect (hole in the wall between the rooms);
  • ductus arteriosus (blood vessel that does not close);
  • tetralogy of Fallot (wrongly constructed wall between the lung and aorta);
  • abnormalities of the heart valves;
  • abnormalities of the heart chambers;
  • wrong landscaped arteries or veins.
Another type of congenital heart defect is a heart muscle disease (cardiomyopathy). The heart is well laid out well, but the heart muscle does not work properly. Some heart muscle diseases are hereditary. An example is the long-QT syndrome. Genetic counseling can take you to the department of clinical genetics of a university hospital. A doctor's referral is required.

A tamat group of heart disorders that can occur already before birth, deviations in the electrical control system of the heart. These abnormalities can cause arrhythmias. An example is the Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome.

What causes congenital heart disease?

What causes congenital heart disease? There are a number of risk factors:
  1. Certain viral infections during pregnancy indicate an increased risk for the development of a congenital heart disease. Rubella is an example.
  2. Certain diseases, during pregnancy indicate an increased risk. Diabetes mellitus is an example.
  3. Drinking too much alcohol during pregnancy.
  4. Use of epilepsy drugs during pregnancy.
  5. In some families are more children with congenital heart disease. Here heredity plays a role.
Often, the cause of a congenital heart disease is unknown.

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