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To have a better and easier understanding of heart diseases in children, they can be roughly categorized into following basic groups:

The significance level of these structural defects in heart may vary between a simple problem such as a small “hole” between the chambers, and more complex and severe diseases such as failure of development of a heart, or some of its ventricles or valves.

The possibility of giving birth to a child with congenital heart disease is 8 out of 1000 for each expectant mother. So, approximately 10.000 to 15.000 children are born with congenital heart disease in the country. Around half of this number involves severe diseases requiring a surgical operation before the patient turns into one year old. If the parents have already a child with congenital heart disease, the risk approximately increases the twice than normal for future children (16/1000). In case mother or father has any congenital heart diseases, the risk varies between 2% and 16% for the child according to the disease and who has the disease, mother or father. Today, the specialists trained in this area perform “Fetal Echocardiography” to examine the fetus heart between the weeks 16 and 20 of high-risk pregnancy and to detect major cardiac anomalies. However, no treatment is possible when the baby is still in mother’s womb.

To have a better and easier understanding of heart diseases in children, they can be roughly categorized into following basic groups:

A. Congenital Heart Diseases

I. Acyanotic heart diseases (no cyanosis)

*     Shunt lesions (e.g. holes in the heart and a space between the veins)
*     Obstructive lesions (e.g. stenosis of veins or valves)
*     Mitral valve prolapse

II. Cyanotic heart diseases (with cyanosis)

•    Diseases where blood build-up in lungs reduces (in cases where the oxygen-poor blood is prevented from flowing to the lungs for oxygenation, the body has difficulty in getting sufficient volume of oxygenated blood)
•    Mixed lesions (Due to abnormal development of the heart, the oxygenated blood and oxygen-poor blood become mixed thus oxygen-poor blood is distributed in the body)  

 B. Acquired Heart Diseases

I. Rheumatic (e.g. acute rheumatic  fever)
II. Infectious (e.g. Kawasaki syndrome and myocarditis)
Now, let us have a close and detailed look at common congenital heart diseases.