Congenital heart disease is a term used to describe heart conditions in infants, children, and adults that are caused by abnormalities in prenatal heart development (congenital heart defects). Congenital heart disease causes the most deaths within the first year of life compared to any other birth defect, and affects approximately 500,000 American adults.
Among the most common of congenital heart diseases are:
- Tetralogy of Fallot, which causes low blood oxygen levels. This condition is characterized by a hole between the right and left ventricles, narrowing of the valve and artery that connect the heart and the lungs, a displaced aorta, and a thickened right ventricle wall.
- Atrial septic defect, which causes a hole in between the two upper chambers of the heart, known as atria.
- Ventricular septic defect, which causes a hole in between the right and left lower chambers of the heart, or ventricles.
- Aortic stenosis, in which the aortic valve is narrowed.