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Congenital heart disease: paediatric

Published on 07 February 2024

The paediatric cardiac service (PCS) provides care for neonates and children up to the age of 16 years/transition with paediatric cardiac disease (PCD). The Royal Hospital for Children, Glasgow, is the location for this service.

What is paediatric cardiac disease?

The cause of cardiac disease is often not clear. Most problems are present from birth due to the way the heart forms during the very early stages of pregnancy. The reasons for this may be factors such as genetics, environmental factors or infection.

Underlying problems with the heart muscle itself can cause a smaller group of cardiac problems. These may be because of an infection acquired in childhood or an irregularity in the way the heart contracts as it pumps blood around the body.

How is it treated?

Treatment depends on the type and severity of the condition and care is tailored to the individual. Some children will not need any treatment, while others may need medicines or interventional procedures involving cardiac catheterisation or heart surgery.

All children with congenital heart disease will need regular check-ups, usually continuing into adulthood. The purpose of the check-ups is to monitor heart function so that any future problems receive prompt diagnosis and treatment.

Further information is available on the Royal Hospital for Children Glasgow website.