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Congenital Heart Diseases (CHD)


Overview

The structural defects in the heart or in its important vessels that are present at and since birth are called Congenital Heart Diseases or CHD. The other nomenclatures for CHD are Congenital Heart Defects or Congenital Heart Anomalies.
The heart of the fetus develops completely by 8 weeks of its gestational age. These defects happen during these first 8 weeks of pregnancy, thus taking a few precautions like including folic acid and iodine in a daily diet, taking the Rubella vaccine can help prevent these defects.

Types

CHD can be classified into two basic types

  • Cyanotic Heart Disease
  • Acyanotic Heart Disease


Signs & Symptoms

Though the signs and symptoms depends upon the type of CHD, few common of the symptoms are listed below :-

⦁ Fast breathing rate
⦁ Cyanosis ( blue discoloration of skin)
⦁ Poor weight gain
⦁ Lung infections
⦁ Swelling in legs, abdomen or around the eyes
⦁ Murmur



Causes or Risk Factors

⦁ Maternal illness like diabetes
⦁ Infections during pregnancy like Rubella
⦁ Maternal Obesity
⦁ Alcohol abuse of both parents or any one of them
⦁ Genetic condition


Diagnostic Tools

⦁ ECG (Electrocardiogram)
⦁ Echocardiogram
⦁ MRI Heart
⦁ Coronary Angiogram
⦁ Chest Xray
⦁ Transesophagial Echocardiogram (TTE)


Treatment

While some defects do not require any sort of treatment, few treatment options are listed below:-

⦁ Oral medication
⦁ Surgical Corrections
⦁ Heart Transplant


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