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Is hypoplastic left heart syndrome a heart birth defect?

Hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) is a birth defect that affects normal blood flow through the heart. As the fetus develops during pregnancy, the left side of the heart does not form correctly. Hypoplastic left heart syndrome is one type of congenital heart defect (CHD). Congenital means present at birth.

Hypoplastic left heart syndrome affects a number of structures on the left side of the heart that do not fully develop, for example:

  • The left ventricle is underdeveloped and too small.
  • The mitral valve is not formed or is very small.
  • The aortic valve is not formed or is very small.
  • The ascending portion of the aorta is underdeveloped or is too small.

Often, babies with HLHS also have an atrial septal defect, which is a hole between the left and right upper chambers (atria) of the heart.

Yes. Hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) is a condition in which the left side of the heart is incompletely formed. The Norwood procedure and stage palliation are two types of procedures used to treat HLHS.

Hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLH) is a very serious congenital heart defect that can be fatal if it is not diagnosed and treated very soon after birth.

In hypoplastic left heart syndrome, the heart’s main pumping chamber (the left ventricle) is underdeveloped and smaller than it should be, making it unable to pump enough blood to the body to sustain life. Other structures of the heart also are underdeveloped, including the mitral and aortic valves, which convey blood in the proper direction through the heart’s chambers, and the first portion of the aorta, which is the major artery for sending oxygenated blood to the body.

Hypoplastic left heart syndrome is a heart birth defect that occurs when the heart's major pumping area is too small. This heart birth defect is life-threatening. However, as a result of surgical advances in the past few decades, the outlook for a baby with this heart birth defect has much improved.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.