Congenital heart disease involves a problem with the heart's structure and function due to abnormal heart development before birth. Congenital heart disease, the most common type of birth defect, is often divided into two types: cyanotic (blue discoloration caused by a relative lack of oxygen) and non-cyanotic. Many of these defects need to be followed carefully. Some heal over time; others will require treatment. The following lists cover the most common congenital heart diseases:


  • Tetralogy of Fallot

  • Transposition of the great vessels

  • Tricuspid atresia

  • Total anomalous pulmonary venous return

  • Truncus arteriosus

  • Hypoplastic left heart

  • Pulmonary atresia

  • Some forms of total anomalous pulmonary venous return

  • Ebstein's anomaly


  • Ventricular septal defect

  • Atrial septal defect

  • Patent ductus arteriosus

  • Aortic stenosis

  • Pulmonic stenosis

  • Coarctation of the aorta

  • Atrioventricular canal (endocardial cushion defect)

These problems may occur alone or together. The majority of congenital heart diseases occur as an isolated defect and are not associated with other diseases. However, they can also be a part of various genetic and chromosomal syndromes such as Down syndrome, trisomy 13, Turner syndrome, Marfan syndrome, Noonan syndrome and DiGeorge syndrome. No known cause can be identified for most congenital heart defects.


Symptoms depend on the specific condition. While congenital heart disease is present at birth, the symptoms may not be immediately obvious. Defects such as coarctation of the aorta may not cause problems for many years. Other problems, such as a small ventricular septal defect (VSD), may never cause any problems, and some people with a VSD have normal physical activity and a normal life span.


Treatment also depends on the specific condition. Some congenital heart diseases can be treated with medication alone, while others require one or more surgeries.

Texas Health is committed to providing quality care to heart and vascular patients throughout North Texas and beyond. While various technologies and services are discussed here, not all of our hospitals offer every treatment and diagnostic technology highlighted. Call 1-877-THR-WELL to learn more about heart and vascular services at a Texas Health hospital near you.

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