Cardiovascular Disorders

Detailed anatomical description of the heart's blood vessels, including simple definitions and a labeled, full-color illustration

Detailed anatomical description of the heart's electrical system, including simple definitions and a labeled, full-color illustration

An arrhythmia is an abnormal rhythm of the heart. In an arrhythmia, abnormal electrical signals through the heart muscle may cause the heart to beat too fast (tachycardia), too slow (bradycardia), or irregularly.

Aortic stenosis means that your child has a heart valve that is too narrow or is blocked.  The aortic valve is 1 of 4 heart valves that keep blood flowing through the heart. The valves make sure blood flows in only one direction. The aortic valve keeps blood flowing from the left ventricle to the aorta.

The atrial septum is the wall between the 2 upper chambers of the heart (right and left atria). An atrial septal defect (ASD) is an abnormal hole in this wall. ASD is a heart problem that is present at birth (congenital).

An atrioventricular (AV) canal defect is a congenital heart defect. This means that your child is born with it. These defects may range from partial to complete. These conditions cause oxygen-rich (red) blood and oxygen-poor (blue) blood to mix. This sends extra blood to the child's lungs.

Bacterial endocarditis is an infection of the lining of the heart (endocardium), and the heart valves. It does not happen very often, but when it does, it can cause serious heart damage.

Detailed information on blood tests used to diagnosis heart disease

Coarctation of the aorta is a heart defect that is present at birth (congenital). It means the aorta is narrower than it should be. Read on to learn details about the condition.

Detailed information on problems affecting the coronary arteries and blood vessels of children

Cardiac catheterization is a procedure in which a long, flexible tube (catheter) is put into a blood vessel. The doctor then guides the catheter into the heart to find and treat heart problems.

Detailed information on congenital heart disease, including patent ductus arteriosus, atrial septal defect, ventricular septal defect, atrioventricular canal, tricuspid atresia, pulmonary atresia, transposition of the great arteries, tetralogy of Fallot, double outlet right ventricle, truncus arteriosus, coarctation of the aorta, aortic stenosis, and hypoplastic left heart syndrome

Heart failure is when the heart can't pump enough blood to the body. In children, it is often caused by a congenital heart defect.

Detailed information on complex heart problems

Cardiomyopathy is any disease of the heart muscle in which the heart loses its ability to pump blood effectively.

Detailed information on diagnosing and evaluating heart disease in children

Echocardiography is an imaging test. It uses sound waves to make detailed pictures of the heart.

A detailed look at the way children may feel about having congenital heart disease--and tips for helping them cope.

Electrocardiography (ECG) is a simple, fast test to check the electrical activity of your child's heart as blood moves through it.

Electrocardiography (ECG) is a simple, fast test to check the electrical activity of your child's heart as blood moves through it. Abnormal ECG results may mean there is a problem with your child's heart.

In most cases of congenital heart defect, the cause is thought to be a combination of genetics and environment.

Fetal echocardiography (echo) uses sound waves to check the heart of your developing baby.

Through the blood vessels in the umbilical cord, the fetus receives all the necessary nutrition, oxygen, and life support from the mother through the placenta.

Children with congenital heart disease often grow and develop more slowly than other children.

Blood pressure is the force of the blood pushing against the artery walls. High blood pressure (hypertension) means that the pressure inside the arteries is too high. This higher pressure may harm the arteries and cause the heart to work harder.

Detailed information on heart defects that cause extra blood flow through the lungs

Detailed information on heart-healthy eating

Hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) is a group of defects of the heart and large blood vessels. A child is born with this condition (congenital heart defect). It occurs when part of the heart doesn't develop as it should during the first 8 weeks of pregnancy.

Holter monitoring is a way to continuously check the electrical activity of the heart. Your child will wear a small device called a Holter monitor for at least 24 to 48 hours. The device constantly checks your child's heart during this time.

Detailed information on cardiovascular diseases in children

Kawasaki disease causes inflamed blood vessels. It can weaken the walls of blood vessels, including the arteries of the heart. Kawasaki mostly affects infants and young children. It is uncommon in the U.S.

Detailed information for children living with a congenital heart disease

Detailed information on living with a pacemaker or implantable cardioverter defibrillator

Marfan syndrome is a genetic disorder that affects the body's connective tissue. Connective tissue holds the body's cells, organs, and other tissue together. Connective tissue is also important in growth and development.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a procedure that uses a large magnet, radio waves, and a computer to create detailed images of organs and tissues in the body. It’s used to diagnose problems in many areas of the body.

Heart murmurs are extra or unusual sounds made by blood moving through the heart. Many children have heart murmurs. Some cause no problems or go away over time. Others require treatment.

Detailed information on heart defects that cause obstructions in blood flow

Pulmonary atresia (PA) is a heart defect. It happens when the fetal heart doesn’t form as it should during the first 8 weeks of pregnancy.

A child with an arrhythmia may need a pacemaker or an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD). These devices require a simple surgery to implant. They can increase a slow heartbeat or correct a possibly life threatening fast or chaotic beat.

Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) is a heart defect found in the days or weeks after birth. Read on to learn about symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options.

Pericarditis is inflammation or infection of the pericardium. In children, pericarditis is most likely to happen after surgery to repair heart defects.

Detailed information on childhood physical exam.

Detailed information on problems involving heart rhythm

Pulmonary stenosis is a birth defect of the heart (congenital). It can happen when the pulmonary valve doesn’t develop as it should during the first 8 weeks of pregnancy. The pulmonary valve connects the right ventricle to the pulmonary artery.

Rheumatic heart disease is a condition that causes permanent damage to the heart valves.

Detailed information on cardiovascular diseases in children

Syncope is a brief loss of consciousness and muscle tone caused when not enough blood gets to the brain. Syncope is commonly called fainting. In most children, it’s usually harmless. But in a few children, syncope is serious. This is usually because of a heart problem, or less often a neurological problem.

Tricuspid atresia (TA) is a heart defect present at birth (congenital). It occurs when the tricuspid valve doesn’t form right during fetal heart development. This happens during the first 8 weeks of pregnancy. The tricuspid valve is located between the right upper chamber (atrium) and the right lower chamber (ventricle) of the heart. The defect keeps blood from flowing normally from the right atrium to the right ventricle.

Total anomalous pulmonary venous return (TAPVR) is a congenital heart defect. This means that your child is born with it.  It happens as the baby’s heart develops during the first 8 weeks of pregnancy.

Echocardiography is an imaging test. It uses sound waves to make detailed moving pictures of the heart. It shows the size and shape of the heart, as well as the heart chambers and valves. Transesophageal echocardiography (TEE) uses a device, called a transducer, that is placed in the esophagus.

Tetralogy of Fallot is 4 congenital heart defects. This means that your child is born with them. These 4 problems occur together (tetralogy refers to 4).

Transposition of the great arteries (TGA) is a type of congental heart defect. This means that your baby is born with it. In this condition, the large blood vessels that carry blood from the heart to the lungs and body aren’t connected as they should be.

Detailed information on heart defects that cause too little blood flow through the lungs

Truncus arteriosus is a heart defect that is present at birth (congenital). It occurs when there is an abnormal connection between the aorta and pulmonary artery. Normally, the aorta and the pulmonary artery are separate.

The tilt table test is done find the cause of fainting (syncope). Tilt table testing is done with a special table or bed that changes a child's position from lying to standing. The child's blood pressure and heart rate are checked while he or she is in the different positions.

An ultrafast computed tomography (CT) scan is an imaging test that uses X-rays and a computer to look at your child’s heart. It gives the healthcare provider many details about your child’s heart that other imaging tests can’t.

A ventricular septal defect (VSD) is a congenital heart defect. This means that your baby is born with it. A VSD is an opening or hole in the dividing wall (septum) between the 2 lower chambers of the heart (right and left ventricles). VSDs are the most common type of congenital heart defect.

An anomalous coronary artery (ACA) is a heart defect. This is something your baby is born with (congenital). In ACA, the blood vessels that supply blood to your child’s heart muscle aren’t normal.

Detailed information on congenital heart disease, including patent ductus arteriosus, atrial septal defect, ventricular septal defect, atrioventricular canal, tricuspid atresia, pulmonary atresia, transposition of the great arteries, tetralogy of Fallot, double outlet right ventricle, truncus arteriosus, coarctation of the aorta, aortic stenosis, and hypoplastic left heart syndrome

Eisenmenger syndrome is an advanced form of

Detailed anatomical description of the heart valves, including simple definitions and a labeled, full-color illustration

A heart transplant is a surgery to replace a diseased heart with a healthy one from an organ donor. Organ donors are adults or children who have become critically ill, often because because of injury. They will not live because of their illness or injury.

Read on for a detailed look at different kinds of congenital heart defects and treatments, as well as transitioning teens from pediatric to adult cardiac care.

When trying to make heart-healthy changes to your lifestyle and diet, it is helpful to know some basics about nutrition.

Detailed information on the anatomy of the heart and heart transplantation in children

22q11.2 deletion syndrome is a genetic disorder that can cause many health problems. These problems may range from heart defects and developmental delays to seizures.

Stroke is much more common in adults than children, but children get strokes, too. The good news is that a child has a better ability to recover from stoke than an adult because a child's brain is still developing.

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