Introduction: Congenital heart disease is an important cause of morbidity and mortality in infancy and accounts for two thirds of all birth defects. This study was done to obtain the pattern and clinical presentation of congenital heart diseases in the University of Port-Harcourt Teaching Hospital Teaching Hospital, Port-Harcourt, Nigeria.
Method: This was a prospective hospital based study of children up to the age of 16 years admitted into the Paediatric Cardiology Unit of the University of Port-Harcourt Teaching Hospital with clinical and echocardiographic features compatible with congenital heart disease.
Results: A total 41 patients with congenital heart disease were managed from 1st January 2007 to 30th June 2008 in the Paediatric Cardiology Unit of the University of Port-Harcourt Teaching Hospital. There were 18 males and 23 females giving a ratio 1:1.3. Majority 33 (80.5%) of the cases were acyanotic congenital heart disease. Thirty (73.2%) of the cases seen were infants. Ventricular septal defect was the most prominent congenital heart disease accounting for 34.1% of all cases. Tetralogy of Fallot was the most common cyanotic congenital heart disease and accounted for 87.5%. Fast breathing and poor weight gain were the commonest mode of clinicalpresentation.
Conclusion: Congenital heart diseases are not uncommon in our environment. The modes of presentation are protean, therefore high index of suspicion, early diagnosis, close monitoring and timely intervention is required in all cases. This will go a long way in reducing the morbidity and mortality associated with it.