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Hello everyone,

My sister got a baby recently, half a year ago to be precise. We were all very happy, she got a wonderful boy who was totally healthy. She went to see her little boy's doctor yesterday, they did some tests and they concluded that her son has Ebstein's anomaly. 

Apparently, there is something wrong with her son's heart and she is afraid because she doesn't know how dangerous this is, she is doubting that her doctor isn't telling her everything.

Anyway, I want to ask you ask about the symptoms that one would have if he has Ebstein's anomaly and what are its causes?

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Hello Adria,

Congratulations on becoming an aunt, before anything else.

Ebstein's anomaly is something that is present at birth. I'm guessing that the doctor didn't do what he was supposed to do at the birth of this little fellow. In Ebstein's anomaly, tricuspid valve, the valve between the two right heart chambers doesn't work properly. The tricuspid valve sits lower than normal in the right ventricle and the tricuspid valve's leaflets are abnormally formed.

Symptoms include shortness of breath, especially with exertion, fatigue, heart palpitations or abnormal heart rhythms or a bluish discoloration of the lips and skin caused by low oxygen.

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Hi Adria,

This condition isn't usually dangerous but if the symptoms are bothering the little guy, you can always talk to your doctor about your treatment options.

First of all, when it comes to causes, Bee already told you that this is something that is present at the birth (congenital). It is still unknown why it occurs. To understand how his heart works when it is affected by Ebstein's anomaly, you need to know how a heart works to supply your body with blood.

When it comes to the treatment options that I have mentioned above, you can either go for medications or choose a surgery instead.

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Hello everybody,

I'll tell you how is your heart supplying blood to your body.

The heart has four chambers, the two upper chambers receive blood (atria) and the two lower chambers (ventricles) pump blood. 

Four valves open and close to let blood flow in one direction through the heart. Each valve consists of two or three strong, thin flaps (leaflets) of tissue. When closed, a valve prevents blood from flowing to the next chamber or from returning to the previous chamber.

The oxygen poor blood is redirected to your lungs to receive oxygen and the oxygen rich blood is then distributed through your body. In Ebstein's anomaly, your right atrium enlarges which can eventually lead to heart failure.

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Hello guys,

I'll agree that no one really knows what is causing this to happen to babies. It happens while their mom is still pregnant with them so it gets even harder to determine why is it happening, therefore we don't know yet.

The symptoms that Bee mentioned are usually not so strong but in case they are, your sister should talk to her doctor so that the little boy could get some medications to use. There is an option for a surgery but he might be still too young for it, if she decides that she wants him to undergo surgery, she will have to wait for a while first.

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Hello everyone.

I am glad that we can talk more about this issue. Here is why. My friend’s daughter is diagnosed with this disease and doctors told her that there is no specific cause of it.

Also, she never had any symptoms that showed that she was sick. Is that even possible? What do you think? Are there any chances that the diagnose is not correct?

Maybe we should find some other opinion, some other doctor or do some specific analyses?

We are worried and she is feeling OK. That is why we don’t know what to do about this. Thanks a lot.

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Hello everyone.

Ebstein’s anomaly is actually a heart defect that you can get at birth. Nobody can tell you why this occurs, it is still unknown. Well to understand how this affects your heart is very important because it is going to help you know a bit more about how your heart works.

In ebstein’s anomaly the tricuspid valve sits lower than normal in the right ventricle. It makes it so that a portion of the right ventricle becomes the part of the right atrium that is causing the right atrium to be larger than usual. Well, because of this the right ventricle can’t work properly.

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Hey there. Well, the symptoms of this disease can range from mild to very severe. Symptoms usually develop very soon after the birth and they are visible because they include blush – colored lips and nails because oxygen level is very low. In some cases the baby can be very sick and she can also have some trouble while she is breathing.

Some of symptoms are :

  • cough,
  • very rapid breathing,
  • fast heartbeats,
  • shortness of breath,
  • fatigue,
  • etc.

As soon as doctors notice this they will do some tests and examinations. In that case doctor will set the treatment and this treatment depends on severity of the defect and the specific symptoms.

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Good day. My neighbor Lana has a child who was diagnosed with ebstein’s anomaly when he was born. They saw at the beginning that something is wrong with him and they started to do some analysis immediately. This is a rare heart defect and rare heart condition for only 1 percent of congenital heart defects, but its impact is significant especially to those directly affected. The researches have shown that only 1 percent of congenital heart defects affects to kids and that 10 percent of cases are associated with chronic maternal lithium use.

Lana's kid is now fine. I hope that this boy will be fine as well. 

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