Congenital Heart Disease
The term congenital heart disease is used to describe any heart abnormality that results from faulty development before birth. It’s the most common abnormality seen at birth with an incidence of 6 to 8 per thousand live births. Any component of the heart and major blood vessels may be abnormally formed. There may be more than one abnormality present.
The structure and function of the heart can be obtained in detailed information. It’s the most common test used in children to diagnose and to follow up patients with heart problems. It can be safely performed on children of all ages (including newborns). It is a heart scan (ultrasound) that creates an image of the heart. In addition, a Doppler test is used to measure the speed and direction of blood flow.
The electrocardiogram (ECG) measures the electrical activity of the heart and complements the echocardiogram in the assessment of heart diseases. It can also be used to diagnose heart rhythm problems in children.
Arrhythmias can cause the heart rate to be irregular, fast or slow. If an abnormal rhythm (arrhythmia) occurs, it is important to find out what kind it is. Treatment recommendations will depend on its type. Sometimes a 24-hour ECG or Holter recording (performed as outpatient) is required.
A special invasive X-ray test called cardiac catheterization may be required to fully evaluate a condition and determine the best treatment for your child. However, only a small number of patients are required to go through this. It has the ability to show the heart chambers, valves and vessels are formed and how they are functioning and gives more detailed information about specific areas in the heart and lungs. This method is now used frequently as a means of intervention to seal up holes in the heart or open up faulty valves.
diagnosing CONGENITAL HEART DISEASe in children
- General cardiac consultation, management and counseling of inherited congenital and structural heart disease as well as management of children with heart rhythm problems
- Pre-operative, intra-operative and post-operative management of children with congenital heart disease
- Trans-thoracic, trans-esophageal & intra-operative echocardiography for children and adults with congenital heart disease and other structural heart defects
- 12-lead electrocardiography (ECG) and signal-average ECG
- Ambulatory 24-hour Holter ECG monitoring
- Diagnostic cardiac catheterization and angiography
- Trans-catheter therapy of congenital heart disease