Heart defects are changes in the structures of the heart muscle, aorta, valves, which prevent the organ from performing its functions correctly and interfere with blood flow. These congenital heart diseases that develop in a person even during intrauterine development in the earliest stages of pregnancy, in the first 2-8 weeks, and sometimes a woman does not yet know about conception. Such heart diseases in children are diagnosed with a fairly high frequency - for 1000 newborns, certain violations of the structure of the heart are detected in 8-10 babies. Fortunately, not all of them are severe and affect the health and quality of life of the child.
Congenital heart disease: symptoms of the disease in children
Heart defects can be of different types. And it depends on their characteristics when congenital heart disease is detected.
In some cases, this happens even before the birth of the child (and today, methods of operations on the heart of the fetus have already been developed and applied, after which the pregnancy continues). But more often such heart diseases in children are diagnosed after birth, in the first years of a child's life. According to the American Heart Association, 2.4 out of 1,000 children with CHD require heart surgery. There are also options when an adult is unaware of the presence of a congenital defect, the pathology is so asymptomatic. It is important to distinguish such pathologies from acquired heart defects.
Often, listening to heart sounds helps to suspect a problem and send the child for additional examinations. In addition, all children in Russia are shown periodic ultrasound of the heart (echocardiography) and electrocardiogram (ECG) as part of the clinical examination.
What are the symptoms of congenital heart disease?
Developmental delays. Often we are talking about underdevelopment of the lower body. Shortness of breath even without intense physical exertion. Excitement, anxiety. Blueness (cyanosis) or pallor of the skin. Headache and dizziness. Loss of consciousness. Causes of heart defects
There is still no exact answer to the question about the causes of congenital heart defects. This is a multifactorial pathology. However, there are risk groups of children in whom the likelihood of developing such disorders is much higher than the average. These include:
Children with genetic and chromosomal disorders, both hereditary and accidental. So, often the disease congenital heart disease is noted in Down syndrome and Marfan's disease due to pathologies of the connective tissue. Postponed viral diseases during pregnancy, rubella is especially dangerous, and influenza in the first trimester of gestation also affects the structure of the heart. The use of alcohol, drugs, certain medications (for example, opioid derivatives) during pregnancy. What are congenital heart diseases?
In the spectrum of congenital heart defects, 18 variants are distinguished, of which 12 are among the most common. All congenital cardiac pathologies of the structure are conventionally divided into two groups.
The first includes congenital heart disease with the formation of detours, as a result of which oxygen-rich blood enters the lungs again. Among them:
non-closure of the ductus arteriosus; atrial and ventricular septal defects.
The second group is distinguished by the presence of various obstacles to blood flow, provoking an increased load on the heart:
stenosis of the heart valves (pulmonary or aortic); aortic stenosis.
In addition, defects include the abnormal structure of the heart muscle itself, which causes heart failure. Often, defects are formed not individually, but in a group, for example, the Fallot's tetrad, known to medicine, which combines four pathologies at once.
The health of a child with congenital heart disease depends on the severity of the defects. Many of them do not require medical treatment or surgery and are only risk factors for other heart problems.