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Congenital heart defects are abnormalities of the heart that are present at birth, and many have unknown causes. Most are discovered during childhood, but occasionally some people reach adulthood before they are discovered. Symptoms in babies can include blue skin color or low blood pressure, breathing difficulties or poor weight gain.

Testing & Treatment

There are a variety of diagnostic tests that can be done depending on the possible defect, such as electrocardiograms, echocardiograms, blood tests, angiography and many more. Treatments vary depending on the defect, and children are referred to pediatric cardiologists when necessary. Patients who have a family history of congenital heart defects may want to seek genetic counseling before pregnancy.