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Congenital Heart Disease

Congenital diseases are defects that are present at birth. Some congenital heart defects are found in childhood. Others are not identified until adulthood. Some examples of congenital heart defects include:

  • Openings between the walls that normally separate heart chambers. An example would be an atrial septal defect or ventricular septal defect.  
  • Malformation of blood vessels, such as in coarctation — or a pinched narrowing — of the aorta.
  • Valve defects causing stenosis (narrowing) or regurgitation (leakiness). One example would be a bicuspid aortic valve where there are two leaflets instead of the normal three.