Ultrasound detects congenital heart defects in children
Echocardiography for fetuses and children under 6 years old helps in early detection and treatment of congenital heart disease, prevention of complications of heart failure and arrhythmia.
Assoc. Prof. TS.BS Nguyen Thi Bach Yen, Head of Cardiology Department, Tam Anh General Hospital, Hanoi, said that statistics from the Ministry of Health show that each year, Vietnam records 10,000-12,000 children with congenital heart disease. , in which about 50% of children have severe disease and only about 6,000 cases have surgery. Some congenital heart diseases have no specific signs, sometimes discovered incidentally through physical examination and echocardiography. Echocardiography is a modern, advanced technique and is considered as a screening solution for congenital heart defects for early detection and timely treatment, helping children minimize complications, have a chance to develop healthy, reduce costs for the family.
According to Associate Professor Bach Yen, pregnant women need to examine and echo the fetal heart at least once during pregnancy to screen for congenital heart defects. Usually, 18-22 weeks of pregnancy is considered the “golden time” for ultrasound to diagnose birth defects of the fetus. At Tam Anh General Hospital, 4D fetal echocardiography is applied, helping to detect fetal abnormalities for timely treatment.
“Particularly for children under 6 years of age, besides the usual Doppler echocardiography, the hospital also deploys 3D ultrasound technique through the chest wall to screen for congenital heart disease. This is an advanced tool that has been used since five years. 2000 allows to evaluate the morphology, function, hemodynamics of the heart. Currently, this method is still widely applied in the diagnosis and treatment of congenital heart disease in children,” Associate Professor Bach Yen said. know.
Many dangerous complications
Congenital heart disease is an abnormality in the structure of the heart and the large blood vessels in the chest, occurring in the fetal period. So far, no exact cause has been confirmed. However, scientists mention a number of high risk factors for congenital heart defects such as: maternal infection with viruses during pregnancy, chemicals, drugs or other genetic factors .. .
According to Associate Professor Nguyen Thi Bach Yen, the delay in diagnosis and detection of congenital heart disease has caused many unfortunate consequences for children’s health and physical and mental development later on. Some cases cause serious complications such as: heart failure, embolism, fixed pulmonary hypertension, arrhythmia, infective endocarditis… In which, some congenital heart defects are not Timely detection and treatment leads to the heart not pumping enough blood compared to the body’s needs, causing heart failure. Pulmonary hypertension is increased pressure in the pulmonary arteries, largely due to increased blood flow to the lungs.
In some patients, congenital heart defects also lead to arrhythmias, which can cause stroke or sudden death if not treated promptly and properly. Heart infection (also called endocarditis) is an infection of the heart’s lining, usually when bacteria enter the bloodstream and travel to the heart. Endocarditis can damage or destroy heart valves and even embolize, causing a stroke.
In addition, congenital heart defects can cause blood clots to form in the heart, blocking blood vessels, reducing or blocking blood supply to the brain.
“Despite the markedly improved prognosis due to advances in diagnosis, intervention, and treatment, up to 40% of neonatal deaths and 60% of neonatal deaths are due to Congenital heart disease is complicated.Therefore, screening for congenital heart disease in the fetus plays an important role and is an effective solution to help early detection, timely treatment, and save the lives of many children with congenital heart defects. complicated,” added Associate Professor Bach Yen.
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