Cyanotic diseases are also called cyanotic congenital heart diseases. They are a group of heart diseases that present at birth due to congenital abnormalities. The diseases result in low amounts of oxygen in the blood. In these diseases, heart defects influence the normal blood flow in the heart. Normally, blood should be pumped out of the heart after going through the lungs upon reception from the very heart. However, the congenital defects can make the heart pump deoxygenated blood to different body parts. That can result in generalized body cyanosis.

Congenital Defects that Result in Cyanotic Heart Diseases

Infants may have one or several defects that cause the heart diseases. There are many types highlighted, although the list isn’t exhaustive.

Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF). TOF is the most common cause of these types of diseases. The defect has four different components, which includes pulmonary stenosis and right ventricular hypertrophy. In addition, overriding of the aorta and ventricular septal defect are among the components.

Tricuspid atresia. In this case, either the tricuspid valve is abnormal in terms of development or it’s not present at all. That can make the heart pump de-oxygenated blood to the whole body, hence cyanosis.

Transposition of Great Vessels. In such a case, the blood that could otherwise go to the lungs goes to the whole body the semi-lunar valves have switched their positions.

Others. Coarctation of the aorta, left anomalous pulmonary venous return, and hypoplastic left heart syndrome are some of the causative defects of cyanotic heart diseases.

Causes of Cyanotic Heart Diseases

Genetics. Individuals who are born from families with genetic links to congenital diseases, especially of the heart are likely to have the cyanotic heart diseases.

Exposure to chemicals and drugs. Some chemicals exposed to pregnant mothers may predispose a pre-born baby with congenital abnormalities of which those of the heart aren’t an exception. Drugs may also cause the congenital malformations. A good example is thalidomide.

Infections. Rubella infection is one of the many different infections that has proven to cause congenital heart diseases. Once a pregnant mother has such an infection, there are high chances that the unborn baby will suffer the malformations of the heart leading to this type of diseases.

Gestational diabetes. This deadly disease isn’t only fatal and devastating to the pregnant woman, but also causes congenital heart diseases.

Smoking and alcohol intake. Such lifestyle habits are bad for the health of the mother and the unborn child.

Signs and Symptoms of Cyanotic Heart Diseases

Cyanosis. That is the most common manifestation that occurs as a result of the heart pumping deoxygenated blood to the whole body. The skin turns bluish.

Dyspnea. The breathing problems arise because the body is in need of oxygen yet the heart isn’t pumping blood to the lungs the way it’s supposed to do. Children affected may end up in a squatting position so as to relieve breathlessness.

Anxiety. That can come about due to the fear of the condition and impending death.

Syncope. Fainting may be common for patients with the disease alongside with complaints of chest pain.

Generalized body weakness. Weakness and fatigue that is abnormal are common because of poor tissue perfusion.

Treatment of Cyanotic Heart Diseases

The disease may be self-limiting, especially when it’s asymptomatic. However, surgery is the treatment of choice to treat and repair the defective part of the heart. In the case of the valves, heart valve replacement and or repair can be a good option. Where there are abnormal holes, surgery aims at closing them to restore the heart to its normal functioning.