What causes acyanotic conditions?
The most common causes of acyanotic conditions include:
- Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD): this is the number one cause of acyanotic conditions; it occurs when there is an opening in between the ventricles; as a consequence, blood from the left side ventricle flows into the right ventricle because blood pressure is higher in the left ventricle. The heart consequently has to put in more effort to drive blood from the right ventricle.
- Pulmonary stenosis: this occurs when the pulmonary valve is too narrow for the blood to flow normally.
- Aortic stenosis: this occurs when the aortic valve is abnormally narrow; consequently blood cannot flow as easily as it should.
- Atrial septal defect: this condition is similar to ventricular septal defect but it involves a hole between the right and left atria.
- Patent ductus ateriosus: the patent ductus ateriosus is a small duct in the heart, which closes shortly after a baby is born; if the duct doesn’t close fully, there can be problems because blood with high oxygen content that is supposed to be taken away from the heart, seeps back into the heart through the partially open duct.
Symptoms of acyanotic conditions
Common symptoms of acyanotic conditions include:
- Difficulty with breathing
- Problems with feeding
- Extreme tiredness
- Pain in the chest
Treating congenital heart conditions
Babies born with heart conditions will nearly always require surgery at some point in their lives; around 50 percent of babies with congenital conditions have surgery immediately after birth. Surgery will be used to repair the heart, remove blockages and correct defects. Surgery used to be a risky treatment for newborn babies, but with advances in modern technology 85 percent of babies that have surgery for a congenital heart condition now survive into adulthood and live a relatively normal life; patients with heart defects will usually visit their GP regularly and attend hospital appointments to ensure their heart is functioning well. Patients may be advised not to participate in certain activities as this may harm the heart.