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Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

What Is Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome HLHS?

Hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) is a rare congenital heart defect marked by underdevelopment of the left side of the heart.

According to medical definitions, it is a spectrum of cardiac malformations characterized by underdeveloped left heart with severe hypoplasia of the left ventricle.

A birth defect which may affect he blood flow to the heart, Hypoplastic left heart syndrome is one of the many types of congenital heart defects i.e. it is present at birth.

Hypoplastic left heart syndrome affects various structures on the left side of the heart that may be underdeveloped. This includes:

  • The left ventricle
  • The mitral valves
  • The aortic valve
  • The ascending portion of the aortais underdeveloped or is too small.
  • Presence of atrial septal defect, which is a hole between the left and right atria of the heart.

Causes Of Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome HLHS:

In most cases, the underlying cause of Hypoplastic left heart syndrome cannot be identified. However, it tends to occur when something obstructs the normal development of the heart.

This tends to occur in the first five weeks of pregnancy i.e. when the heart of the fetus is developing from a tube like structure into a shape closer to a fully formed heart.

Symptoms Of Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome HLHS:

The following symptoms have been exhibited by the affected infant:

  • Grayish-blue skin color
  • Rapid, difficult breathing
  • Poor feeding
  • Cold hands and feet
  • drowsiness or inactiveness
  • Cool, clammy skin
  • A weak and rapid pulse
  • Abnormal breathing that may be either slow and shallow or very rapid
  • Dilated pupils
  • Lackluster eyes that seem to stare

Furthermore, HLHS can lead to certain developmental problems which may include:

  • impaired memory
  • Problems in using language to express themselves
  • Problem in comprehending others
  • low attention span
  • difficulty concentrating
  • poor planning abilities
  • poor impulse control

Diagnosis Of Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome HLHS:

HLHS can be diagnosed:

  • Before birth
  • Via ultrasound during the second trimester of pregnancy
  • After birth
  • Medical history about symptoms
  • Physical exam
  • Echocardiogram

Treatment Of Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome HLHS:

The following treatment options are available:

  • Medications
  • alprostadil (Prostin VR Pediatric)
  • Breathing assistance
  • Intravenous fluids
  • Feeding tube
  • Atrial septostomy
  • Surgery
  • Norwood procedure
  • Bi-directional Glenn procedure.
  • Fontan procedure

By : Natural Health News

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