Timing of Interventions in Infants and Children with Congenital Heart Defects

Indian J Pediatr. 2020 Apr;87(4):289-294. doi: 10.1007/s12098-019-03133-w. Epub 2020 Jan 22.


Congenital heart defects (CHD) are the most common form of birth anomalies. About one-fifth of these are critical requiring very early intervention, the classical examples being transposition of great arteries or obstructive total anomalous pulmonary venous connection. On the other hand, relatively milder and simpler lesions, such as small ventricular septal defects or mild pulmonary stenosis, may either not need intervention at all or intervened as and when deemed necessary. Apart from the cardiovascular effects, some CHDs can significantly affect the physical growth and neurodevelopment of the child. Each type of CHD has unique hemodynamic effects and the intervention is, by and large, timed based on the severity and natural history of each cardiac lesion. Some lesions have a "limited" time window beyond which they may become unsuitable for any intervention. Hence it is critical to intervene at the appropriate time so as to prevent the untoward effects of CHDs and at the same time to avoid unnecessary interventions.

Keywords: Acyanotic congenital heart defects; Congenital heart defects; Cyanotic congenital heart defects.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Heart Defects, Congenital* / therapy
  • Heart Septal Defects, Ventricular*
  • Humans
  • Infant