Hole in the Heart: A Congenital Heart Defect Present at Birth Time

Tanuja Bisht

, Treatments

One of the most common problems that you may know or pediatric cardiologist deals with on a regular basis is a hole in the heart. Yes, nowadays this has become the most common problems across the world during the childbirth.


Hole in the heart is the layperson’s language term to describe a congenital abnormality of the heart (present at the time of birth).


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Hole in the heart is actually a hole in the walls separating the heart chambers and it can also be described as a structural abnormality of the heart.


Well, we all know that the heart is the central blood pumping organ of the body having four chambers. The top two chambers are known atrium and the bottom two chambers are known ventricles. The wall which separates the top two chambers is known as the atrial septum and the wall which separates the bottom two chambers is known as the ventricular septum.


Therefore the problem of a hole in the wall between the top chambers is known as an atrial septal defect (ASD) and the hole in the wall between the bottom two chambers is known as a ventricular septal defect (VSD).


Abnormal heart rhythms




What are the Symptoms of Hole in the Heart?


Common symptoms of adult congenital heart defects include:



  • Cyanosis


  • Tiredness


  • A heart murmur


  • Swelling of the extremities


  • Abnormal heart rhythms


Many of these symptoms can be mixed with other diseases that mostly affects the heart or the lungs and are less serious conditions. These may be the effects of aging and physical inactivity.




What are the Causes of Hole in the Heart?


A congenital heart defect is a condition in which a person is born with this defect. Some genetic disorders or diseases like Down’s syndrome are also associated with congenital heart defects. In some diseases when a pregnant woman is exposed to some prescription medications, rubella, and uncontrolled diabetes can cause a congenital heart defect in her unborn child.


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How Can You Diagnose the Hole in the Heart?


There are several common tests that are generally used to diagnose the congenital heart defects include:


Echocardiogram: The process is used to determine the anatomical structure of the heart, the pressures within the heart, and the volume of blood pumped by the heart.


Electrocardiogram (ECG): The process is used to identify the problems with heart rhythm.


Chest X-Rays: The process is used to look at the shape and size of the heart.


Coronary Catheterization: The process is used to identify restricted or blocked blood vessels.


Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): The process is used to take detailed pictures of the blood vessels and the heart’s chambers.


Stress (exercise) Testing: The process is used to measure how well the heart is functioning when challenged to work harder than normal.




What are the Treatments for Hole in the Heart?


A variety of ways can be taken in managing or treating a congenital heart defect depending on its type and severity of the defect.

Drug Therapies


Some minor problems associated with the congenital heart defects can be treated with medicines to help the heart work better such as;


  • Slow the heartbeat


  • Help relax the blood vessels


  • Help prevent blood clots like warfarin


  • Remove excess fluid in the body


Surgery/Catheter Intervention


Some congenital heart defects discovered in adulthood that need to be repaired surgically. For this, the surgery can be performed through a catheter-a tube which runs through a blood vessel to the heart.


Valve replacement and the repair of complicated congenital heart defects can be done through the open-heart surgery.


Although it is a rare condition, a patient with a life-threatening congenital heart defect can also go through the heart transplant or a heart-lung transplant. These procedures are only performed when the patient is healthy enough to undergo major surgery.






Hole in the heart is described as a congenital abnormality of the heart generally appear in the time of birth time. his type of condition is rare and can be curable.


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