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Down syndrome: Children with Down syndrome (also known as Trisomy 21) have an extra copy of their 21st chromosome. About half of children with Down syndrome also have a congenital heart condition, the most common being atrial-ventricular septal defects, ventricular septal defects and atrial septal defects. Children with certain genetic conditions, such as Down syndrome, sometimes also have heart problems. Genetic syndromes with related heart conditions include:
Most of the heart conditions associated with these genetic disorders are treatable with surgery and/or medication.
The symptoms of down syndrome (or other genetic disorders) in infants with heart conditions are the same as in heart conditions that are not caused genetically.
Talk to your doctor if your child has a genetic condition, signs of any of these symptoms, or other heart concerns.
Because of the relationship between these genetic disorders and certain heart conditions, your doctor will monitor your child’s heart closely. If your doctor hears a heart murmur (an extra or abnormal sound to your child’s heartbeat) or discovers an abnormal blood pressure or pulse, he or she will do more tests to investigate.
Pediatric cardiologists at Children’s Hospital Colorado will likely perform further tests to identify if your child has a heart condition. Some common heart tests include:
If you want to learn more about genetically linked heart conditions, visit:
Learn why parents choose our nationally-ranked Heart Institute.
Our pediatric cardiologists, in collaboration with our geneticists and other pediatric subspecialists, have the medical and surgical expertise to treat and repair the congenital heart defects associated with genetic syndromes. At Children’s Hospital Colorado we have multi-specialty programs for many of the genetic syndromes commonly linked to heart problems, such as the down syndrome treatment clinic - the Sie Center, Marfan Syndrome Clinic and Chromosome 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome Specialty Clinic.
In some cases, our interventional cardiologists will be able to repair your child’s heart condition with cardiac catheterization. This is a minimally invasive procedure where a catheter is threaded through the veins across a stenosis (narrowed blood vessel) or septal defect (hole). It is then used to expand the stenosis or patch the hole. After a cardiac catheterization, children usually stay in the hospital overnight and are asked to take it easy for the next week.
Watch a video about what to expect for your child’s heart catheterization.
Other kinds of heart defects require open-heart surgery to repair. A cardiovascular surgeon will surgically enlarge the stenosis (narrowed blood vessel), stitch the septal hole together, or patch the hole with surgical material. In this case, your child will typically stay in the hospital for a few days while the incision heals.
Learn why Children’s Colorado is the best place for your child’s heart surgery.See why our outcomes make us one of the top heart hospitals
Critical Care - Pediatric, Pediatrics
Cardiothoracic Surgery, Cardiac Surgery
Cardiology - Pediatric, Pediatrics
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