Decoding the ABC of Congenital Heart Defects - Blog



Decoding the ABC of Congenital Heart Defects

May 31, 2018 | Contributed by Ranjini Nair

All the stories that we put up about the children that we’ve helped contain medical terminology that may as well be Greek to a lot of our supporters. Genesis Foundation works in the sphere of Congenital Heart Defect Treatment so that children in need of financial support for their surgeries are given a chance to beat the illness and live.

We thought we would put together a handy guide to terms we use most frequently so that next time, you know where to look when you’re stuck on a word.

First let’s get familiar with the major parts of the heart:

• Atria: The two upper chambers of the heart are together known as atria. While the left atrium receives oxygenated blood pumped in from the lungs, the right atrium receives deoxygenated blood from the body.

• Ventricles: The two lower chambers of the heart are known as the ventricles and they receive blood from the atria. The right ventricle pushes the deoxygenated blood from the right atrium via an artery to the lungs for oxygenation, while the left ventricle receives oxygenated blood and pushes it out into the entire body via blood vessels.

• Septum: The septum is a strong muscular wall that separates the right and left chambers of the heart from each other, so that oxygenated and deoxygenated blood do not mix with each other.

• Valves: There are four valves that separate parts of the heart from one another.

a. Mitral valve: Separates the left atrium and the left ventricle

b. Tricuspid valve: Separates the right atrium and the right ventricle.

c. Aortic valve: Lies between the left ventricle and the aorta, which connects to the body’s network of blood vessels.

d. Pulmonary valve: Found between the right ventricle and the pulmonary artery, which goes to the lungs.

• Aorta: The main artery in the human body which distributes blood to the whole body and is connected to the left ventricle.

• Pulmonary artery: Is the artery that carries deoxygenated blood from the heart to the lungs from the right ventricle.

Here’s a list of the most common Congenital Heart Defects, to put into perspective the multiple types of CHDs that can occur in children, and have occurred in the cases we have supported.

Atrial Septal Defect (ASD) is a term that crops up frequently. It is a hole in between the upper chambers of the hearts, which allows oxygen rich blood to enter the oxygen deficient chamber.

Our little, Kaustubh Sawant suffered from ASD

Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD) is a hole between the lower chambers of the heart.

Our little, Avani Jaiswar suffered from VSD

Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA) is an abnormal connection between the ascending aorta and the pulmonary artery.

We financially supported treatment for Arushi Vinod Valvi who was treated for her PDA

Transposition of the great arteries (TGA) occurs when the two main blood vessels of the heart, the aorta and pulmonary artery arise from the wrong chambers i.e. their positions get switched.

Newborn, and not even named – Seenath’s baby suffered from TGA, and required early intervention

Double Outlet Right Ventricle (DORV), is a condition much like Tetralogy of Fallot with the major difference being that in this case the overriding of the pulmonary artery is more than 50%.

Priya Prajapati suffered from DORV, a complex heart condition when we first met her, before financially supporting her surgery

Pulmonary Atresia is a condition wherein all the characteristics of Tetralogy of Fallot are seen and additionally there is an absence of the pulmonary valve.

Little champion, Ayaan was discovered as having pulmonary atresia, a fight he won with our support

Total Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Connection (TAPVC) is a condition wherein the pulmonary veins that originating from the lungs terminate at the right atrium instead of the left.

Our little, Anas had been diagnosed with TAPVC

Ebstein’s Anomaly is a displacement of the tricuspid valve from its original position.

Little angel, Azra was treated successfully for Ebstein’s anomaly

Transposition of the great arteries (TGA) occurs when the two main blood vessels of the heart, the aorta and pulmonary artery arise from the wrong chambers i.e. their positions get switched.

Anomalous left coronary artery from the pulmonary artery (ALCAPA) occurs when the left coronary artery which normally originates from the aorta, originates instead from the pulmonary artery.

Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF) is a condition in which there exist four associated problems:


o A narrowing of the pulmonary wall

o An overriding of the aorta and pulmonary artery

o A thickening of the left ventricle

Our little, Sreedhaksha was diagnosed with TOF before we were able to get her treated

So the next time someone rattles of difficult CHD terms to you, you know exactly where to come in search of answers. In case you would like to contribute to our cause of Congenital Heart Defect Treatment for underprivileged children do not hesitate to click on the Give button on the top right corner of our website, or follow this link: 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Disclaimer: The content shared on our website, such as texts, graphics, images, and other materials are for informational purposes only. Any of the content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the specific advice of your physician or a qualified health provider for any questions you might have regarding a medical condition. Genesis Foundation assumes no responsibility for any reliance you place on such materials on our website.