Congenital Heart Disease
Congenital heart disease is caused by abnormal heart development before birth. It is very uncommon: Only about 1% of infants are born with any kind of congenital heart disease. The causes are unknown, but there are some risk factors, including:
- Congenital heart disease in one of the baby’s parents or siblings.
- Diabetes in the mother.
- German measles, toxoplasmosis (an infection that is passed through contact with cat feces), or HIV infection in the mother.
- Alcohol or drug use during pregnancy.
- Use of certain over-the-counter and prescription medicines during pregnancy.
Having these risk factors does not guarantee that a baby will be born with congenital heart disease, and not having any of these risk factors does not mean that the baby won’t have congenital heart disease. Nonetheless, it is important for pregnant moms to have the healthiest pregnancy possible, avoiding as many of the risk factors as they can.
A heart defect can be diagnosed before birth, while the child is very young, or later in life. Surgery or medicine may be necessary to remedy the defect.
Taking antibiotics before having dental or surgical procedures may be necessary for children with congenital heart disease.
Types of congenital heart disease
Below are types of congenital heart disease. Often, people who have one of these heart defects have others, too.
- Aortic stenosis
- Atrial septal defect (ASD)
- Atrioventricular canal defect
- Brugada syndrome
- Coronary artery anomalies
- Double outlet right ventricle (DORV)
- Ebstein’s anomaly
- Hypoplastic left heart syndrome
- Patent ductus arteriosus
- Patent foramen ovale (PFO)
- Pulmonary atresia
- Pulmonary stenosis
- Tetralogy of Fallot
- Total anomalous pulmonary venous connection
- Transposition of the great arteries
- Tricuspid atresia
- Truncus arteriosus
- Ventricular septal defect (VSD)