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Our Health Library does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please be advised that this information is made available to assist our patients to learn more about their heart health. Our providers may not see and/or treat all topics found herein.

Our Health Library information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please be advised that this information is made available to assist our patients to learn more about their health. Our providers may not see and/or treat all topics found herein.

Congenital Heart Defect Types

Congenital Heart Defect Types

There are many types of congenital heart defects. If the defect lowers the amount of oxygen in the body, it is called cyanotic. If the defect doesn't affect oxygen in the body, it is called acyanotic.

What are cyanotic heart defects?

Cyanotic heart defects are defects that allow oxygen-rich blood and oxygen-poor blood to mix.

In cyanotic heart defects, less oxygen-rich blood reaches the tissues of the body. This results in the development of a bluish tint (cyanosis) to the skin, lips, and nail beds.

Cyanotic heart defects include:

What are acyanotic heart defects?

Congenital heart defects that don't normally interfere with the amount of oxygen or blood that reaches the tissues of the body are called acyanotic heart defects. A bluish tint of the skin isn't common in babies with acyanotic heart defects, although it may occur. If a bluish tint occurs, it often is during activities when the baby needs more oxygen, such as when crying and feeding.

Acyanotic congenital heart defects include:

What are not considered defects?

A small hole in the heart, called a patent foramen ovale, is not considered a heart defect. It happens in many healthy people. But typically it doesn't need treatment.

Credits

Current as of: January 10, 2022

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: John Pope MD - Pediatrics
Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Larry A. Latson MD - Pediatric Cardiology

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