Congenital Heart Diseases in Children

A few children have defects in the heart’s structure present at birth. The most common heart diseases are found in the valves, arteries and veins, and the interior walls of the child’s heart.

As a result of a defect, there is abnormal flow from or to the heart. Some congenital heart defects can be treated, but others require special attention because they can be life-threatening. In some cases, even the best cardiologist in Singapore can only diagnose the illness after the child has been delivered.

Types of Congenital Heart Diseases

Some types of congenital heart diseases need surgical treatment from a heart surgeon while others are simple and show no symptoms. Below are the 11 types of congenital heart diseases.

Aortic Valve Stenosis

Aortic valve stenosis is commonly the result of bicuspid aortic valve defect, but is sometimes present in aging people when the valves are damaged. This condition is marked by the narrowing of the opening in the aortic valve, restricting the flow from the child’s left ventricle to the aorta. The narrow opening can also affect the pressure in the left atrium of the heart.

Coarctation of the Aorta

Also called aortic coarctation, it is the narrowing of the aorta responsible for carrying the fresh blood to other parts of the body. The narrow opening causes the heart to exert more effort in order to deliver the right amount of nutrients and oxygen to the rest of the child’s body. The heart screening doctor in Singapore might not detect the illness early because it sometimes doesn’t show symptoms until adulthood so it’s important to take the child to a cardiologist in Singapore if you suspect something.

Ebstein’s Anomaly

Ebstein’s or Ebstein anomaly manifests as an apical displacement of the septal and posterior tricuspid valve leaflets. Children with this illness experience fatigue, palpitations and even cardiac death and heart failure. It’s important to take the child to the nearest heart doctor that you trust to look at treatment options such as surgical treatment, transplantation, and medications.

Patent Ductus Arteriosus

This illness results in the failure of the fetal ductus to properly close. In some cases in Singapore, the illness isn’t detected until the person becomes an adult because some symptoms are mild. Patent ductus arteriosus is characterized by the constant communication of the pulmonary artery and the descending thoracic aorta. The blood flow comes from the descending aorta then goes from left to right until blood reaches the pulmonary artery. Others will need a heart surgeon to correct the defect.

Pulmonary Valve Stenosis

This is a type of disorder that affects the pulmonary valve which separates the right ventricle and the pulmonary artery. The result is that there is not enough blood that flows through the lungs because the opening is too narrow. Your cardiologist in Singapore point to genes as a factor in the development of this abnormality, so it’s important to have the child checked if the family has a history of heart problems.

Septal Defects

Septal defects, or more specifically ventricular septal defect, is the term for a hole in the wall that separates the lower chambers of the heart. It’s quite common among children and manifests in connection with another heart disease. The result is that the blood travels from the left ventricle to the right ventricle and will exit into the lung arteries. Both the hear and lungs have to work harder as a result.

Single Ventricle Defects

Children born with a lower heart chamber that is either underdeveloped or small or doesn’t have a valve are diagnosed with single ventricle defect. There are 3 types of this defect which can be determined using heart screening. Pulmonary atresia or intact ventricular septum means that the pulmonary valve isn’t present and the blood is therefore diverted to the lungs. Hypoplastic left heart syndrome is the underdevelopment of the child’s left side of the heart because the artery holes and septum are not normal. The opening of the left ventricle and aorta might also be small. Tricuspid atresia on the other hand means that the child has no tricuspid valve. The result is that no blood can flow from his or her body to the heart.

Tetralogy of Fallot

This is a type of illness that is a combination of four defects such as pulmonary stenosis, ventricular septal defect, right ventricular hypertrophy, and overriding aorta. Others also have atrial septal defect as an additional symptom. Infants with cyanosis or loud murmurs in the heart are examined especially when the baby was born with a patent ductus arteriosus. Symptoms of tetralogy of fallot include irritability, sleepiness and unresponsiveness. The cardiologist will determine if the child’s oxygen level is normal through heart screening tests before prescribing a treatment.

Total Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Connection

Called TAPVC, it manifests as an abnormality in the blood flow from the pulmonary veins to the systemic veins and/or right atrium. Sometimes there is a pulmonary venous obstruction. The result is that the systemic and pulmonary venous blood get mixed in the child’s right atrium. It sometimes causes an increase in the pulmonary blood flow while the left ventricle and left atrium receive less blood. It could trigger a pulmonary artery hypertension.

Transposition of the Great Arteries

This illness usually manifests when the fetus is still 8 weeks old. During the development, there is abnormality in the formation of the large blood vessels that are supposed to carry blood from the heart to the lungs and the rest of the body. The result is that the aorta is connected to the right ventricle while the left ventricle is connected to the pulmonary artery. The child therefore has a different heart anatomy than other normal kids.

Truncus Arteriosus

This very rare condition is caused by a single arterial trunk which comes from the ventricles formed by a single semilunar valve. This happens when there is incomplete septation of the embryo’s truncus arteriosus. This is a severe condition with a high mortality rate in infants that haven’t even reached the age of one year.