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Hi there,

I have a question to ask.

A very good friend of mine got married and he and his wife are expecting a kid. Awesome, I know, right. Anyway, after checking with their medical records history and their parents medical records history, the doctors told them that their child might be born with some sort of a congenital heart defect. They said that these defects can be acyanotic and cyanotic defects, and that ones are more dangerous than the other ones. Well, that's the only thing they didn't understand.

Can anyone here explain to me the difference between acyanotic and cyanotic heart defects?

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Hey Avatar,

Cyanotic and acyanotic heart diseases are defined based on how blood moves through the heart and occur due to abnormal openings or defects in the heart.  In cyanotic heart disease, de-oxygenated blood moves from the right side of the heart to the left side through abnormal openings or defects. It mixes there with oxygenated blood and is then distributed to the body through the aorta.  In acyanotic heart disease, oxygenated blood moves from the left side of the heart to the right side and then to the lungs. This occurs as a result of a hole between the left and right atria.

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There is a way to distinguish which one of these two does a baby have.

In cyanotic heart disease, blood that is not rich in oxygen and nutrients is delivered to all the organs in the body. This causes a child with cyanotic heart disease to develop bluish skin and mucus membranes due to low oxygen levels. In acyanotic heart disease, the body receives oxygenated and non-de-oxygenated blood from the heart. Bluish skin coloration does not occur with acyanotic heart disease except when the body needs more oxygen than the heart can supply.

These can both be dangerous if not treated on time.

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Hi there,

This shouldn't be dangerous if everything is found out on time and if the treatment starts as soon as these things are noticed. Some congenital heart defects that lead to cyanotic or acyanotic heart diseases can be corrected through surgery while others may require no treatment at all. Holes in the heart can be stitched shut via surgery while narrowed valves can be opened using surgical procedures as well. Narrow blood vessels can also be widened during surgery. Medications are used to treat mild congenital heart defects, while a heart transplant may be necessary if a complex heart defect can't be repaired.

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Good day there. I don’t know that much about it but I am pretty sure that you separate congenital heart defects into those two types – cyanotic and acyanotic heart defects.  There are a few things that is really important to remember - acyanotic heart defects can switch over if they’re left alone for too long because pulmonary hypertension is caused by the extra flow. This is called Eisenmenger Syndrome. On the other hand, Cyanotic heart defect is a group - type of congenital heart defect as well, and it occurs due to deoxygenated blood bypassing the lungs and entering the systemic circulation or a mixture of oxygenated and unoxygenated blood entering the systemic circulation. As you can see, the difference is huge.

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Hello there folks. My little cousin was diagnosed with cyonatic heart defect. In many cases a baby is borne with this disease and this is usually because of a genetic factor. Now, a patient is more in risk when there is a family member who had this heart disease as well. Some syndromes also can be accompanied by a defect that cause this and those syndromes usually include:

  • down syndrome,
  • marfan syndrome,
  • noonan syndrome,
  • turner syndrome.

I don't know that much about acyonotic heart defect but now I can see that there are some difference between them. Anyway, both of them should be treated. 

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Good day everyone.  Here is what is the difference between acyanotic and cyanotic heart defect. Acyanotic heart disease is in the group of heart conditions where blood with oxygen mixes with blood with little oxygen in the heart. This mixing is not enough to cause cyanosis, and on the other had,  symptoms of this condition cause not enough oxygen being delivered to tissues of the body. Now, this mixing is not enough to cause cyanosis, a symptom of not enough oxygen being delivered to tissues of the body, hence the name acyanotic heart disease. On the other hand, like you already know, congenital heart disease, or a congenital heart defect, and this is acutally a heart abnormality present at birth. The problem can affect:

  • the heart walls
  • the heart valves
  • the blood vessels

There are numerous types of congenital heart defects indeed. 

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