Hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) is one of the most complex cardiac defects seen in the newborn and remains probably the most challenging to manage of all congenital heart defects. In hypoplastic left heart syndrome, the left side of the heart is critically underdeveloped. Symptoms include:
• Grayish-blue skin color (cyanosis)
• Rapid, difficult breathing
• Poor feeding
• Cold hands and feet
• Being unusually drowsy or inactive
HOW IS HYPOPLASTIC LEFT HEART SYNDROME DIAGNOSED?
An ultrasound examination during pregnancy could help to determine whether a child would be born with this defect. A paediatrician would be able to diagnose this syndrome by a physical examination and if they are able to hear a heart murmur. An EEG to confirm the diagnosis would be advised.
HOW IS HYPOPLASTIC LEFT HEART SYNDROME TREATED?
Treatment would be done by a paediatric expert that would include medication to help in strengthening the heart, which is followed with nutritional changes and also in some extreme cases, a heart surgery is inevitable using the Norwood Procedure, Bidirectional Glenn Shunt Procedure or even the Fontan Procedure.
DID YOU KNOW?
Hypoplastic left heart syndrome is more common among males than females.