Congenital heart disease: A medical overview

Massimo Chessa, Francesca Romana Plucchinotta

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Congenital heart disease with an approximate incidence of 1 % and a prevalence at birth of 5–11 per 1,000 live births (Hoffman and Kaplan, J Am Coll Cardiol 39(12):1890–900, 2002) is the most common inborn defect. By definition, “congenital” heart disease means usually a disease that has been present since birth. However, a wide variety of defects can be either not present or not evident from birth. Those present but not usually detected in early life include lesions such as a moderate size atrial septal defect. Others that are only anatomically present in later years with a latent predisposition prior to this, such as subaortic stenosis or many of the cardiomyopathies, are not strictly “congenital” but are often included in this group. The most important physiopathologic aspects of the congenital cardiac malformations are the presence of shunt between arterial and venous blood and presence or absence of cyanosis. Although congenital cardiac malformations may be classified in various ways, we propose a simplified classification in four subgroups of malformations: septal defects, defects of the outflow tracts and great vessels, univentricular hearts, and other malformations.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationClinical Psychology and Congenital Heart Disease: Lifelong Psychological Aspects and Interventions
PublisherSpringer-Verlag Milan
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)9788847056992, 9788847056985
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Medicine(all)


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