Congenital Heart Disease

  • Serge KaplanianEmail author


Congenital heart disease is one of the most common congenital defects in children. A physiological classification of congenital heart disease into four groups is most useful for anesthetists: left-to-right shunts with increased pulmonary blood flow; right-to-left shunts with decreased pulmonary blood flow; complex shunts with mixing of pulmonary and systemic blood flow causing cyanosis, and finally obstructive lesions, such as valvular or major vessel stenosis. During anesthesia in children with cyanotic congenital heart disease, it is critical to maintain a balance between the pulmonary and systemic vascular resistance to avoid hypoxia or inadequate systemic perfusion. Anesthesia in children with a Fontan circulation is particularly challenging and is best performed in a specialist pediatric center. Endocarditis prophylaxis is needed for some children with heart disease having certain procedures. Murmurs are common in children, and most can be identified as innocent at the time of preoperative assessment. Some murmurs may be suspected as being pathological but without significant issues for anesthesia, while others may be suspected as being pathological and require deferral of anesthesia and investigation.


Non-cardiac anesthesia in cardiac child Pediatric anesthesia, heart murmur Anesthesia and the Fontan circulation Endocarditis prophylaxis Congenital heart disease, preoperative assessment 

Further Reading

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Endocarditis Prophylaxis

  1. Baltimore RS, et al. Infective endocarditis in childhood: 2015 update. Circulation. 2015;132:1487–515.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. NICE Guideline 64. Prophylaxis against infective endocarditis: antimicrobial prophylaxis against infective endocarditis in adults and children undergoing interventional procedures. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. 2016. Accessed July 2019.
  3. Therapeutic Guidelines: Antibiotic. Version 16. 2019. Electronic Therapeutic Guidelines Complete. Accessed July 2019.

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Anaesthesia and Pain ManagementPerth Children’s HospitalNedlandsAustralia

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