The neonate with suspected congenital heart disease

Crit Care Nurs Q. 2002 Nov;25(3):17-25. doi: 10.1097/00002727-200211000-00004.


Congenital heart disease (CHD) occurs in 8 per 1000 live births, with approximately one third of these neonates requiring intervention in the first month of life. Neonates with respiratory distress, cyanosis, feeding difficulties, low cardiac output, or dysmorphic syndromes commonly have CHD. Clinical suspicion increases in a symptomatic infant with a heart murmur, but the presence or absence of a murmur does not assure either the presence or absence of significant congenital heart disease. Infants suspected to have CHD may be divided into premature and term infants, as well as infants with duct-dependent pulmonary blood flow, infants with duct-dependent systemic blood flow, and infants with unrestricted pulmonary blood flow. This article will also address the specialized clinical situations of total anomalous pulmonary venous return, transposition of the great arteries, and hypoplastic left heart syndrome with intact atrial septum.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiac Output, Low / etiology
  • Cyanosis / etiology
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / etiology
  • Gestational Age
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / complications
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / diagnosis*
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / therapy*
  • Heart Septal Defects, Ventricular / complications
  • Heart Septal Defects, Ventricular / diagnosis
  • Heart Septal Defects, Ventricular / therapy
  • Humans
  • Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome / complications
  • Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome / therapy
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intensive Care, Neonatal / methods
  • Neonatal Nursing / methods
  • Neonatal Screening / methods
  • Neonatal Screening / nursing
  • Pulmonary Circulation
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome, Newborn / etiology
  • Tetralogy of Fallot / complications
  • Tetralogy of Fallot / diagnosis
  • Tetralogy of Fallot / therapy
  • Transposition of Great Vessels / complications
  • Transposition of Great Vessels / diagnosis
  • Transposition of Great Vessels / therapy
  • Ventricular Outflow Obstruction / complications
  • Ventricular Outflow Obstruction / diagnosis
  • Ventricular Outflow Obstruction / therapy