Structural heart & pediatric heart diseases: The heart is the most important organ in the body which receives deoxygenated or impure blood from different parts of the body. This blood is then transported to the lungs for purification and the oxygenated or purified blood is then pumped by the heart to the rest of the body.
STRUCTURE OF THE HEART
The Heart is made of three layers of tissues consisting of the outer layer of the epicardium, the middle layer of the myocardium, and the inner layer of endocardium. The Pericardium is the layer protecting all the 3 layers of the heart
The Heart is divided into 4 chambers called 2 atriums and 2 ventricles. Atriums are the upper small collecting chambers of the heart and ventricles are the lower large pumping chambers of the heart
Septums of the heart: Walls like septums divide the right and left sides of the heart. The “Atrial Septum” divides the atriums and the “Ventricular Septum” divides the ventricles of the heart
Valves of the heart: Atrioventricular valves or cuspid valves separate the atrium from ventricles. The tricuspid valve or the right atrioventricular valve divides the right atrium from the right ventricle. The bicuspid valve or the left atrioventricular valve divide the left atrium from the left ventricle.
Around 5 litres of blood is pumped by the heart through the process of circulation
There are 2 circulatory mechanisms of the heart are Pulmonary Circulation and Systemic Circulation
Pulmonary Circulation: The right side of the heart receives impure blood from the body and pumps it to the lungs for purification via the “Pulmonary Artery”. The right atrium and the right ventricle are involved in pulmonary circulation
Systemic Circulation: The left side of the heart receives the purified blood from the lungs and distributes it via the “Aorta” to the rest of the body (except the heart and lungs). Wastes from the body cells are removed and the deoxygenated blood is returned to the heart for pulmonary circulation
Usually, arteries carry oxygenated blood and veins carry deoxygenated blood with the only exception of the Pulmonary artery and Pulmonary vein performing opposite functions.
PEDIATRIC HEART DISEASES
Unlike adults, there is a wide range of heart conditions in children and develop into congenital heart diseases. Congenital heart diseases are developed in children at the time of birth and may persist in adulthood if untreated or undiagnosed.
LIST OF CARDIAC CONDITIONS IN CHILDREN
High blood pressure
Congenital Heart Defects
LIST OF CONGENITAL HEART DEFECTS SEEN IN CHILDREN
Atrial Septal Defect
Ventricular Septal Defect
Tetralogy of Fallot
Atrioventricular Canal Defect
Patent Ductus Arteriosus
Transposition of the Great Arteries
Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome
Interrupted Aortic Arch
Single Ventricle (Functionally Univentricular Heart)
Coarctation of the Aorta
FACTORS CONTRIBUTING TO CONGENITAL HEART DISEASES
Genetics: Lack of certain genes or chromosomes in the child’s DNA and history of congenital heart defects
External environmental factors that affect the development of the heart during pregnancy
Maternal Factors like the exposure of the mother to harmful substances in the first trimester, at the time of heart development in the fetus
Medication: Certain contraindicated medicines if taken by the mother during pregnancy can cause congenital heart defects
Children to mothers on anti-seizure drugs are prone to developing heart defects
Mothers with phenylketonuria (PKU), an inborn error of metabolic condition have children with congenital heart defects if they do not take correct dietary measures
Mothers with uncontrolled Type 1 Diabetes mellitus may have children prone to these congenital heart defects
Pregnant women infected with the Rubella virus have a high chance of giving birth to a baby with congenital heart defects.