Congenital heart disease is diagnosed in a similar fashion to how adult heart disease is diagnosed. Doctors will examine the patient, listen to their symptoms and complaints. They will then do testing as necessary to look at their blood counts, their oxygen levels, and they may use ultrasound procedures, x-ray procedures, and catheterization to better understand the congenital heart disease process. Again, this is similar to how adults are diagnosed and are well tolerated. There are special tools that we can use that allow smaller younger patients to receive the same therapy that adult patients receive.
A Answers (2)
Piedmont Heart Institute answeredA number of different diagnostic tests are done, both before and after birth, to determine what type of congenital heart disease a baby has.
Echocardiograms, which can be done before or after birth, use sounds to create a picture of the heart to visualize any structural abnormalities. Additionally, the doctor may insert a thin tube into your baby's blood vessels in a procedure called cardiac catheterization to further investigate abnormalities found in the echocardiogram. X-rays are another type of medical imaging used to look at the heart to determine if there is any fluid in the heart or if it is enlarged. Arterial blood gases, a pinprick blood test that measures the amount of oxygen in your blood, is also used to help your doctor diagnose congenital heart disease. Electrocardiograms (ECGs or EKGs), tests that measure the electrical activity of the heart, can also be used to detect any irregular heart rhythms.
Your pediatrician will also give your child a physical exam, in which they will listen to the heart and look for the signs and symptoms of congenital heart disease, such as difficulty breathing.