Between 40 and 60% of babies with Down syndrome have congenital heart defects. The most common defect is complete atrioventricular septal defects (AVSD) in 30-40% of this group. The majority of congenital heart lesions in Down syndrome can be successfully treated, either medically or surgically. A congenital heart defect is an abnormality in the structure of the heart which is present from birth. There are many different types, ranging from fairly ‘simple’ defects to complex problems involving all four chambers of the heart. Two patients with the same defect will not necessarily show the same symptoms, as the exact size and placing of the hole(s), width of arteries etc. will vary, and will result in a different presentation in each patient. Some heart conditions can occur on their own or in combination with other defects.
Click here to view an INTERACTIVE HEART DIAGRAM at National Heart Centre website.