The aim of the study was to investigate the occurrence, pattern and clinical aspects of congenital heart diseases and their management in Cameroon. In this multicentred retrospective study from January 2006 till November 2009, out of 51,636 consulting in three referral centres, 505 were recruited. All the patients presented with the following symptoms: cyanosis, clubbing, frequent respiratory tract infections, failure to thrive, growth retardation, precordial murmur and dyspnoea. Patients were sent for the screening of congenital heart disease. After the comprehensive Doppler echocardiography, the recruited patients were diagnosed with congenital (67.2%) and in few, acquired heart disease. Heart murmur, dyspnoea and growth retardation was the triad mostly encountered. The occurrence of congenital heart diseases in Cameroon is 9.87%. In Douala, isolated ventricular septal defect, interatrial septal defect and isolated pulmonary valve stenosis were more diagnosed than in Shisong (P <0.05) and Yaoundé (P <0.05). In Yaoundé, there were more cases of common arterial trunk, transposition of great arteries with ventricular septal defect and Ebstein disease than in Shisong (P <0.05) and Douala (P < 0.05). At Shisong, tetralogy of Fallot, arterial duct, coarctation of the aorta, congenital mitral valve regurgitation, atresia of the tricuspid valve, double outlet right ventricle, anomalous pulmonary venous return and left isomerism were more diagnosed than in Yaoundé (P <0.05) and in Douala (P <0.05). Thirty percent of the patients were operated abroad; 9% in the cardiac centre.
Conclusion: Our data show that congenital heart diseases are represented in Cameroon as in the literature; isolated ventricular septal defect is the predominant pathology.