VSD surgery - indications and timing

Your child has been diagnosed with a ventricular septal defect. Will he or she require surgery? Sometimes this question has an easy answer, but in other situations it may be more complicated. Many VSD's are small and clearly significant right from the time of diagnosis. It is clear from the start that these...

Coarctation of the Aorta

A coarctation of the aorta is defined as a narrowing of the aorta, which is the main blood vessel that carries blood from the heart to the rest of the body.  This type of heart defect is one of the more common ones, as it represents approximately 5% of all congenital heart malformations (with congenital heart...

3 common innocent murmurs in children

Heart murmurs in children are very common. A heart murmur just means a sound. Some heart murmurs are sounds produced by actual defects or abnormalities with the heart. For example, a ventricular septal defect (a hole in the wall separating the lower 2 chambers of the heart) makes a very specific noise as blood...

BNP levels in children

B-type natruretic peptide, or BNP, is a hormone that is manufactured by the ventricular muscle in human hearts. The physiologic effects of BNP include the following: Diuresis (increased urination), loss of sodium, and vasodilation. It is expressed in response to either a pressure or volume load on the ventricle....