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Neonatology pp 1065-1078 | Cite as

Early Diagnosis of Congenital Heart Disease: When and How to Treat

  • Francesca R. Pluchinotta
  • Luciane Piazza
  • Angelo Micheletti
  • Javier Fernandez Sarabia
  • Diana Negura
  • Carmelo Arcidiacono
  • Antonio Saracino
  • Mario Carminati
Reference work entry

Abstract

Cardiovascular malformation is the most common group of congenital malformations. The prevalence is 5.3 cases per 1,000 live births. These malformations represent a significant cause of neonatal morbidity and mortality. Advances in medical and surgical treatment of congenital heart disease (CHD) have resulted in improved outcome for conditions which previously carried high mortality. Unrecognized neonatal cardiac malformation carries a serious risk of avoidable mortality, morbidity, and handicap. Routine neonatal examination fails to detect many affected babies, because a normal physical examination does not exclude serious cardiac malformation, including hypoplastic left heart syndrome or interruption or coarctation of the aortic arch. Babies with a cardiac murmur detected over the first few days of life should be referred for early pediatric cardiological evaluation and definitive diagnostic echocardiography. All syndromic babies such as those with Down’s syndrome should be referred for early echocardiographic examination. Echocardiography is an essential tool in the evaluation of neonates and has dramatically improved the accuracy of diagnosis of congenital heart disease. The antenatal diagnosis of CHD by fetal echocardiography carries important advantages: less hypoxia and preoperative acidosis, fewer adverse neurological events and earlier surgery, opportunities for parental counseling, and the optimization of perinatal care with the selection of an optimal site for delivery.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francesca R. Pluchinotta
    • 1
  • Luciane Piazza
    • 2
  • Angelo Micheletti
    • 2
  • Javier Fernandez Sarabia
    • 2
  • Diana Negura
    • 2
  • Carmelo Arcidiacono
    • 2
  • Antonio Saracino
    • 2
  • Mario Carminati
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Pediatric CardiologyIRCCS Policlinico San DonatoSan SiroItaly
  2. 2.Centro Cardiologia Pediatrica Policlinico San DonatoMilanoItaly

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