Heart disease - what is it? Signs, diagnosis, treatment, surgery

How many live with a heart defect? How dangerous is such a diagnosis? Is it possible to rely on a full-fledged daily life, or will you have to constantly adhere to restrictions? Not everyone knows heart disease - what kind of pathology. Information, however, could be useful to many: in recent years, the frequency of diagnosing such health disorders has increased significantly. Let's try to consider more closely what is at stake.

heart disease what is it

General Information: Heart Disease

What is this disease, or rather the group of pathologies, the cardiologist can tell. The term is used to designate the whole complex of health disorders, which are characterized by improper structure, violations of the functionality of the heart valve. Heart disease - what is it? This includes combined pathologies, when several valves are simultaneously damaged, combined, developing on one organ element.Any of the options provokes an adjustment of the blood flow in the heart in relation to the anatomically correct process.

When doctors explain that this is a heart defect, they will definitely clarify that pathologies are divided into acquired and inherited from birth. The first option is accompanied by problems of the functionality of the cardiac system, circulatory failure. In practice, such a group is represented by a common degeneration of the mitral valve, the aortic crescent. Defects are expressed by stenosis due to deformity, contraction of the heart valves, which prevents them from closing normally. Often this pathology develops against the background of adhesions after inflammatory processes that led to the formation of scars. Of this category is often diagnosed with mitral heart disease.

Congenital abnormalities are caused by the incorrect development of the embryo. Usually there are incorrect structure, structure of the great vessels of the circulatory system. Congenital malformations are sometimes amenable to therapy, and in some cases incompatible with life. Currently, the diagnosis of heart defects most often allows one of the number of congenital to establish defects in the development of partitions between the ventricles and atria.Often the vessels are located incorrectly, and the gaps are much narrower than necessary for the normal functioning of the body.

Where did the trouble come from?

Heart disease in a child from birth can be caused by an incorrect process of heart formation. During the period of embryonic development, the separation of the pulmonary artery and the aorta should occur. After childbirth, at first, the characteristics of blood flow are the same as they were during the development period in the uterus, and it is this moment that is most dangerous from the point of view of potential defects. Often the arterial duct is open, or the incorrectness of tissue development leads to the openness of the oval hole.

heart disease in a child

Heart disease in a child, acquired after birth, as well as in the adult population can be complex or isolated. The first option involves the failure of the functioning of not only the heart, but also the vascular system. Possible defective development of the valve apparatus. It is believed that such pathologies can provoke infective endocarditis, rheumatism. In some cases, the disease is provoked by systemic connective tissue disorders, traumatic injuries, and atherosclerosis.

Features of the issue

It is known that some vices allow you to live a normal life, to live to old age, in other cases, the only option is an urgent surgical intervention. Only timely diagnosis helps to understand how dangerous the situation is in a particular case, what measures need to be taken to extend a person’s life and make it more qualitative.

According to statistics, signs of heart disease are observed in 15,000 babies annually, and these are only those cases where urgent surgery is required. If the intervention is not carried out in time, the situation becomes complicated with time, the consequences will be irreversible and the most sad.

Risks and factors

At the moment there is no exact information for what reason congenital isolated, combined heart defects develop. It is believed that a greater risk exists in the presence of a hereditary factor. If the family already had a person suffering from a heart defect, the risk of a similar anomaly in the newborn increases. The genetic factor, as shown by studies, provides an explanation for approximately two percent of all cases of problem detection.

There is a high possibility that surgery will be required for heart disease in a newborn if the mother suffers from dependence on toxic compounds, alcoholic beverages. A certain risk is associated with infection of the female body during gestation. It is very likely that surgery will be needed for heart disease if a woman has had infections from the list of dangerous in the first three months of the “interesting” position. The list of increasing the risk of heart disease diseases:

  • rubella;
  • measles;
  • cytomegalovirus;
  • flu.

how many live with a heart defect

Presumably, the drugs taken by the mother can provoke pathology in a child, including:

  • estrogen;
  • amphetamine;
  • folic acid antagonists;
  • prevent cramps.

How to suspect?

Suppose that a child has a congenital valvular heart disease, it is possible by the following signs:

  • heart murmurs;
  • blue skin;
  • cyanosis of the mucous membranes.

Such a baby will lag behind in development from peers and very quickly get tired, complain of chest pains. For children with defects of the cardiac system are characterized by fainting, often dizzy.If the symptoms are rather weak, then violations can be assumed by a combination of bright, ruddy cheeks and cold limbs.

Classification features

Heart defects are different, and there is a rather conditional division into blue and pale. This is due to the appearance of people suffering from such disabilities. The pallor of the skin is due to overcrowding of the pulmonary blood vessels, as the message of the heart departments is disturbed. Cyanosis is more often characteristic of the situation when the vessels, the heart are naturally not formed correctly, the blood simply does not flow to the lungs in the required amount. In such a situation, urgent surgical intervention is necessary, while the first category is people who, if they are prescribed an operation, in the future, constantly monitor the human condition.

Regardless of the specifics of the situation, surgical intervention is a complex procedure, although practice shows that with a successful conduct, the result is really tangible. Successful manipulations and compliance with the recommendations of the doctor during the rehabilitation period make it possible to give a person a full healthy life. But delayed intervention can slow down the degradation of the cardiac system, but will not return everything to normal.Currently, effective medical measures for congenital, acquired heart defects are possible only with timely detection of the problem.

How to detect trouble?

Diagnosis is a complex event that allows to investigate the functionality of the body. Assign an electrocardiogram, x-ray, echocardiography. The latter procedure is considered the most informative, as it gives a complete picture of the anatomical features of the heart muscle and the operation of the system as a whole.

heart disease disability

To clarify the condition, you can additionally make angiocardiography, probe the heart cavity. A catheter is used, allowing a contrast agent to be introduced into the artery. This measure allows using x-ray irradiation to obtain an accurate image of the heart system, all major vessels. As the contrasting component moves through the circulatory system, all information transmitted by the technique is recorded on the film. The method is equally applicable to congenital and acquired heart defects.

What to do?

The treatment of heart defects in most cases is surgery.In former times, manipulations were carried out with the creation of fairly large incisions, which required the debugging of an artificial circulatory system. The most modern methodology involves the use of special catheters. She received the name endovascular, preferred due to low morbidity.

Changing the methods of organ correction has made it possible to simplify and shorten the rehabilitation program. The currently used methods of anesthesia make it possible to activate the human lungs immediately after surgery. The portability of such events is much higher than it was a few decades ago.

It's curious

At present, the causes of heart defects are not fully understood, as well as the features of their development. Medicine knows for sure: some violations can go away on their own, just over the years. This is typical for minor problems. For example, many at birth are diagnosed with a lack of muscle septum between the ventricles, but the defects exhaust themselves with age - they simply close.True, it is not always possible to predict the outcome, and only an experienced cardiologist is entitled to do so. The need for an operation and the urgency of this event are determined by an even narrower specialist - a heart surgeon.

Acquired defects: features

Acquired disorders are triggered by features of the body, changes associated with age, lifestyle, external factors, including injuries. About 90% of cases are due to rheumatic processes in the body. Valvular defects cause a sharp increase in the load on the heart departments, as a result of which the myocardium undergoes changes: the tissues hypertrophy. All this creates a complex negative impact, expressed in the failure of the functioning of the cardiac system. Often, such changes lead to disability.

heart defects diagnosis

Heart disease is not an easy topic. To understand the features of pathology, it is necessary to understand what the heart is, how it works. The organ is formed by four chambers: two on the left, two on the right, between the first - the mitral valve, the second - the tricuspid. The aortic valve separates the heart from the aorta, a similar system clogs the transition to the lung artery.Up to 70% of all disruptions in the system are associated with degradation of the mitral valve, the impressive part is due to problems with the aortic valve. Less than 1% of all cases of heart disease are related to the incorrect functioning of only the tricuspid valve, but in a situation where there are lesions in other partitions, it suffers in 50% of cases.

Where do the acquired vices come from?

Doctors cannot assert with a 100% guarantee that all possible causes of the development of such a problem have now been investigated, but a certain list of risk factors has been identified. It includes:

  • rheumatism;
  • endocarditis, triggered by infection;
  • atherosclerosis.

In some cases, heart disease caused by syphilitic infection. The trauma and pathologies of connective tissues, including systemic ones, can also lead to such consequences. Sometimes the accumulation of lime salts in the body leads to degeneration of the valve leaflets, which also causes heart defects. There is a risk of inflammatory processes, damaging valves, destroying organic tissue or provoking the formation of scars.

As soon as the valve functionality is violated,the heart immediately faces a significantly higher load, against the background of which the heart departments thicken - this is a protective mechanism given to the body by nature. Over time, this provokes an expansion of the heart cavity, a decrease in the ability to contract. At this stage, there are obvious symptoms of heart failure.

Symptoms of acquired defects

In many ways, the symptoms depend on the characteristics of the development of pathology in a particular case: which element of the cardiac system has suffered, how badly. All defects are divided into three groups:

  • compensated;
  • subcompensated;
  • decompensated.

You can suspect them:

  • shortness of breath;
  • puffiness;
  • increased heart rate

The described symptoms are most widespread and more often attract attention, but heart failure is accompanied by numerous other manifestations, which are often overlooked.

signs of heart disease

Features of treatment

Acquired defects, like congenital, are treated in two ways: conservative or surgical. The first involves preventive measures to prevent relapses and complications.They take medicines, thanks to which the heartbeat rhythm is normalized, and heart failure is also corrected. Such measures will be effective only in a limited number of cases. Predominantly acquired heart defects are an indication for immediate surgical intervention. It is important to visit the cardiac surgeon in time to identify all the features of the situation and select the most effective method of operation. This will help improve the quality of life, reduce the risk of death due to heart failure.

Congenital defects: urgency of the problem

As can be seen from medical statistics, out of every thousand babies, an inadequate development of the cardiac system is observed in approximately seven children. Up to a third of all congenital malformations are associated with the functioning of the heart. If we analyze the causes of infant mortality up to one year, then the described cause takes the first place. However, after one year of age, the risk of death is reduced and up to 15 years of age, the mortality rate is 5%.

heart valve disease

To compensate for the congenital defect, it is recommended to select the appropriate method of operation as quickly as possible and to perform a surgical intervention. The most modern techniques allow to reconstruct the organs of the cardiac system, even in those cases where they were put to a cross a few years or decades ago, recognizing children inoperable. In modern conditions, it is possible to increase the chance of survival for a child by timely diagnosis - medicine has reached a level of development when it is possible to save children with various abnormalities, giving them not only life, but also the possibility of active everyday life in the future.

Risk factors

It is generally accepted that the state of health of a child is determined by the way of life of his mother, the diseases that she suffered during the period of gestation, and drug therapy during this period. Few people think about how important a role is played by paternal heredity. Doctors have proved: the probability of heart defects is quite strongly connected with the health of both parents.

Additionally play a role:

  • age of parents;
  • endocrine disruption (both parents);
  • toxicosis in the first three months of pregnancy;
  • the probability of spontaneous abortion in the first trimester;
  • stillborn in the past;
  • children born with vices in the families of the next of kin.

To obtain an approximate quantitative risk assessment, you must be examined by a highly qualified genetics. Of course, no one can guarantee 100% accuracy, nevertheless, the doctor will formulate how high the probability of deviations in the work of the heart system of the planned baby. The preliminary prognosis is usually made by the therapist or gynecologist, who has a planning pregnancy or a woman who is bearing the fetus. When identifying hazardous factors, the doctor refers to a specialized study to identify the degree of risk.

heart disease causes

Congenital malformations: the most common types

There are seven types of pathologies that are observed most often:

  • septum between the ventricles (up to 20% of all cases);
  • septums between the atria;
  • openness of the arterial duct;
  • aortic stenosis;
  • arterial stenosis;
  • wrong position of the main blood vessels;
  • aortic coarctation.

For the last six, the probability of occurrence is 10-15% of the total number of pathologies associated with heart defects.

There is no single generally accepted approach to the classification of types of disease. Currently, a system based on the International Classification is being applied in our country. Doctors say: only doctors know more than a hundred varieties of congenital heart defects. The above-mentioned division into blue and pale is most often used, but alternative methods of distinguishing subgroups from a common set of violations can be applied.


Often, congenital heart disease is complemented by various serious conditions that depress the health of the child. Allocate:

  • endocarditis, provoked by bacterial infection;
  • heart failure;
  • pneumonia due to stagnation of blood flow;
  • increased pulmonary hypertension;
  • syncope;
  • angina pectoris;
  • myocardial infarction;
  • shortness of breath;
  • cyanotic attacks.

What to count on?

If it was possible to detect a malformation of the cardiac system at a very early age, and the child’s condition allows for radical intervention, the prognosis is most favorable.If the operation cannot be done, the future varies from dubious to unfavorable forecasts, much is determined by the specific deformation.

mitral heart disease

Predominantly, treatment involves timely surgery, the effectiveness of which is enhanced by a course of medication. In some cases, drugs are selected to maintain the condition of the patient awaiting surgery. There are situations where even before the birth of a child, doctors knew for sure that urgent surgery would be required. As a rule, this concerns the "blue" variants of the development of diseases. Delivery should take place strictly in the maternity hospital, under the supervision of a qualified cardiac surgeon. But with the evils of the second group, that is, the “pale” ones, there is often enough therapeutic treatment and condition control: the doctors monitor the situation and prescribe the operation if deterioration is observed.

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