Congenital heart disease classification

Congenital heart disease is also known as CHD. they are structural abnormalities of the heart and can cause other issues in the great vessels. These abnormalities occur while the fetus is developing. This is why it is called congenital, it is there since birth. CHD is a common type of birth defect but is also the leading cause of death in babies. 

Understanding CCHD

  • Right heart obstructive lesions
  • Left heart obstructive lesions
  • Mixing lesions

There are a few different ways that these CHD subdivisions can be classified. This is done in non-cyanotic CHD and cyanotic CHD. These are known to be critical and referred to as critical congenital heart disease (CCHD). CCHD has its own three types of lesions.

Aortic Valve Stenosis

Aortic valve stenosis is one of the more serious classifications of congenital heart defects. This is the valve that controls the flow of blood out of the main chamber of the heart to the main artery. This affects the flow of oxygen-rich blood and takes it away from the heart. This can result in the left ventricle working harder and becoming thicker.

Coarctation of the Aorta

Coarctation of the aorta (CoA) is when the main artery becomes more narrow. This means less blood is able to flow through it. This is known to occur in combination with other defects and it can be extremely severe.

Ebstein’s Anomaly

This is a rare form of congenital heart disease. It is when the valve on the right side of the heart does not develop properly. This means blood may flow the wrong way in the heart, and it means that it may be less effective than normal.

Patent ductus arteriosus

When a baby develops in the womb, there is a blood vessel that connects the pulmonary artery to the aorta. This ends up taking blood away from the lungs and to the aorta. This means more blood is pumped into the lungs forcing the rest of the systems to work harder.

Pulmonary valve stenosis

Pulmonary valve stenosis is a defect where the pulmonary valve is narrower. This means the right heart pump will work harder to push blood to the lungs.

Septal defects

There are two main forms of septal defects in a CHD patient.

  • Atrial septal defects: An atrial septal defect (ASD) are when there is a hole between the 2 collecting chambers of the heart. When this happens there is extra blood that flows through the defect into the right side. This makes it enlarge
  • Ventricular septal defects: This is when there is a hole between the two chambers of the heart.

Congenital Heart Disease is something to worry about, but it is usually fixable or manageable. Many babies need surgery, but this can be done at almost any hospital.

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