Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease
Pediatric heart disease is a term used to describe several different heart conditions in children. The most common type of pediatric heart disease is congenital, meaning that children are born with it. Congenital heart defects (CHD) can exist in adults, but are still considered CHD if the adult was born with the disease.

According to the American Heart Association, congenital heart defects (present at birth) are the most common type of birth defect. 

They affect 8 out of every 1,000 newborns. Each year, more than 35,000 babies in the United States are born with congenital heart defects. 

What are Congenital Heart Defects
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What are Congenital Heart Defects

Dr. Ram Subramanyan provides more information on congenital heart defects in the video below.  

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Types of Congenital Heart Defects
Atrial Septal Defect
A hole in the wall between the heart’s upper chambers
Ventricular Septal Defect
A hole in the wall that separates the lower chambers of the heart
Tetralogy of Fallot
A rare, complex series of four congenital heart defects 
Atrioventricular Canal Defect
A problem in the connection between the heart’s upper chambers and the lower chambers 
Transposition of the Great Arteries
The two main arteries leaving the heart are reversed (transposed)
Coarctation of the Aorta
Causes narrowing of the main blood vessel that comes out of the heart
Truncus Arteriosus
A single common valve (truncal valve) comes out of the heart instead of two normal valves
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Types of Congenital Heart Defects

Some of the congenital heart defects that are treated by cardiothoracic surgeons include:

  • Aortic Stenosis
  • Atrial Septal Defect 
  • Atrioventricular Canal Defect  
  • Coarctation of the Aorta 
  • Ebstein’s Anomaly
  • Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome 
  • Interrupted Aortic Arch 
  • Patent Ductus Arteriosus 
  • Pulmonary Stenosis 
  • Pulmonary Atresia 
  • Single Ventricle (Functionally Univentricular Heart)
  • Tetralogy of Fallot 
  • Transposition of the Great Arteries
  • Truncus Arteriosus 
  • Ventricular Septal Defect 
Congenital Heart Defects
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Congenital Heart Defects

Dr. Ram Subramanyan provides additional background on congenital heart defects in this video. Watch as he discusses how defects in the heart can occur while a baby is developing in the mother’s womb. 

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Much more rarely, children have acquired heart disease, that is, they were not born with heart disease; but they acquired it after birth. These diseases include inflammatory heart disease such as rheumatic heart disease that occurs after rheumatic fever or infectious heart disease, such as endocarditis or trauma to the heart (cardiac trauma). 

The operations used to treat acquired heart disease in children are similar to those used to treat CHD.

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