Causes and Treatment of Congenital Heart Disease
Congenital heart disease affects a few or one heart part provoking defects. It appears in the pre-birth period, in the bosom – heart vessel formation proceeds improperly in the fetal development process.
Types of pathology distinguished in cardiology.
- Underdeveloped heart valves. It’s expressed as follows: valve doesn’t open at all or is very narrow. Blood flows with difficulty; sometimes it can’t get through. Additionally, the valve may let blood leak out the back.
- Modification of walls overlapping the heart chambers. Blood from the atria can mix because of holes presence – this shouldn’t be allowed.
- Heart muscle pathology – inefficiency of organ operation.
- Disruption of blood vessels communication. Blood doesn’t flow to organs it should; in addition, blood isn’t sufficiently saturated with oxygen resulting in organisms’ failure.
Causes of heart disease
Heart disease belongs to hereditary pathologies category. Among negative influences provoking defect occurrence are also following:
- a child has problems with chromosomes at the genetic level. It includes, among other things, Down’s syndrome – chances of disease developing increase by 50%;
- a mother consumes alcohol and smokes during pregnancy;
- certain medicines can increase the likelihood of pathology developing: drugs for acne prevention – isotretinoin, anti-seizure drugs – valproate, etc.;
- if a woman, being in first months of pregnancy, had rubella or other infectious illnesses;
- diabetes mellitus – direct impact on formation of a child’s heart muscle.
Congenital heart disease symptoms
Sometimes heart congenital diseases don’t manifest themselves. For adults, disease signals are as follows:
- person doesn’t tolerate any physical activity;
- severe breath shortness;
- difficulty with exercises.
- skin, lips and nails have a bluish tint;
- child breathes quickly and eats poorly;
- a baby is gaining weight very slowly.
Congenital heart disease diagnosis and treatment
Congenital heart disease is diagnosed by following clinical methods.
- ECG – recording electrical impulses of an affected organ. Detection of heart rate and abnormal contractions.
- Chest X-ray – revealing changes in heart shape and size.
- Pulse oximetry. Sensor examines blood oxygen saturation.
- Echocardiogram shows blood circulation through the heart, specifically in valves.
- Load tests. Methodology helps finding out the heart’s reaction to different exercises.
- MRI and CT – specialist receives a complete chest and heart image.
- Catheterization. Checking arteries and blood-stream in general.
Some birth pathologies are mild – no treatment is needed. Congenital heart disease treatment looks as follows.
- Congenital heart disease surgery. Method consists in mechanically correcting a defect in the septum or restoring the proper valve opening width.
- Medical therapy. In particular, doctors use drugs whose action is aimed at alleviating load on the heart:
- inhibitors and beta-blockers. First drug group lowers blood pressure slowing down frequency of cardiac beats, reducing fluid amount in the organ. Second group dilates arteries.
- diuretic agents help to remove excess fluid and lower blood pressure.