What is the most Common Pediatric Congenital Heart Defect?

Heart Defect

Conditions that are congenital are those that are present at birth.  There is some ambiguity between the phrases “congenital heart defect” and “congenital heart illness,” but “defect” is the most precise term.

Rather than being a disease, this cardiac condition is a defect or aberration. When the heart or blood vessels surrounding it don’t form normally before birth, this is called a congenital heart defect (CHD). Here is the detailed explanation of pediatric congenital heart defects and the most common types of it.

What is meant by congenital heart defect?

When a baby is born with congenital heart disease, the heart or blood vessels are malformed or defective from the start. Heart walls, valves, arteries, and veins close to the heart are all potential sites of congenital heart abnormalities.

Fetal ultrasonography and fetal echocardiography can detect some of these problems while the baby is still in the womb. Symptoms such as a baby being born with a bluish tint can indicate that there is a problem with the heart, and a basic screening can pick up on other forms of heart problems.

A non-obvious indicator of congenital cardiac disease in infants can be obtained by monitoring their blood oxygen levels.

Congenital heart defects are fatal if left untreated, but when detected during pregnancy or through early screenings, pediatric congenital heart specialists have time to take corrective measures.

How common are congenital heart defects?

Roughly 1% of all newborns in India are affected by congenital cardiac abnormalities, or about 40,000 babies each year.

While CHDs are by no means common, they are also not extremely rare. Congenital cardiac disease is the most prevalent birth defect and pediatric ailment overall.

Children born with cardiac problems used to have a far lower chance of living to adulthood, but because of advances in diagnosis and treatment, that number has steadily increased. Roughly 3 million people worldwide are affected by congenital cardiac disease.

The most common congenital heart defects, can include:

Ventricular septal defect:

  • Approximately 20% of all congenital cardiac defects are caused by a ventricular septal defect, which affects 2% to 7% of all live births. 
  • Most infants are born with this abnormality, making it the most common type of heart defect. 
  • A ventricular septal defect (VSD) is a hole, usually between the two ventricles of the heart’s bottom half. 
  • A cardiac murmur is the usual cause for the diagnosis (an additional sound heard when listening to the heart with a stethoscope). 
  • However, many newborns and children with VSD show no additional symptoms. 
  • The greater the size of the hole, the greater the likelihood that the newborn may develop congestive heart failure due to blood filling the lungs from the left ventricle. 
  • Infants with big VSDs often experience rapid breathing, elevated heart rates, excessive sweating (even at rest), and problems gaining weight.

Atrial septal defect:

  • Additionally, atrial septal defect is a common congenital heart condition. 
  • An atrial septal defect is an abnormal opening between the atrium and the tricuspid valve, the upper two chambers of the heart. 
  • Depending on where the hole is located on the septum (the wall that separates the left and right sides of the heart), there are four different types of ASDs. 
  • Infants with autism spectrum disorders typically show no symptoms in the early stages of life.

Pulmonary valve stenosis:

  • Any condition in which the flow of blood from the right ventricle to the lungs is compromised is classified as a deficiency in this group. 
  • The pulmonary valve may be the source of the obstruction if it is abnormally tiny or if one or both of the leaflets (the flaps that open to let blood flow forward and close to keep blood from flowing backward) have fused together. 
  • It’s possible that the impediment is on the other side of the valve. 
  • A murmur is a common symptom of this congenital heart abnormality in neonates, and pediatric cardiac surgeons can use it to help make a diagnosis with the aid of an echocardiography. 
  • Some people, however, show no signs or symptoms. 
  • If the obstruction gets worse, the right ventricle of the heart may be overworked and thickened because of the extra strain.

Aortic valve stenosis:

  • According to Children’s National Health System, congenital aortic valve stenosis usually manifests itself within the first eight weeks of pregnancy. 
  • The aortic valve, one of the heart’s four major valves, is affected by this disorder. 
  • Ultimately, blood that has been oxygenated in the left ventricle of the heart makes its way out of the heart and into the body through this valve. 
  • The valve normally consists of three leaflets, or flaps, that can move in either direction. 
  • Aortic valve stenosis occurs when a baby is born with a valve that is either too tiny or has some of its leaflets fused together. 
  • Consequences of this size reduction include greater strain on the left ventricular pumping chamber and reduced blood flow out of the heart. 
  • Over time, a thicker heart muscle from chronic high blood pressure is harmful. 
  • And because the stiffer leaflets don’t always mesh properly, the valve can be leaky. 
  • The heart might swell unhealthily due to a leaking valve. Reach out to the best pediatric cardiac surgeon in Coimbatore to make sure your child receives the best care.

Important Takeaway:

Back in the day babies with congenital heart defects faced a lot of complications due to lack of advancements. But today medical experts are able to identify heart complications in a baby earlier they are born, helping in the treatment of congenital heart disease and saving the child from severe complications.