My son went to the hospital because he stopped breathing and fainted. He was diagnosed with "breath holding" episodes. At the hospital, BEFORE the diagnosed him, they ran every test possible (CT, XRAY, EKG, Dopplar ECHO" two weeks have passed and I received a phone call from the nurse saying we were being referred to a pediatric cardiologist because his ECHO results came back that he had moderate aortic depletion. He has never had any symptoms related to heart disease or defect, and his pulse has always been normal, except it's slightly lower than kids his age when resting, but still not within too much of a concern for his normal doctor. When he was given the Doppler Echo test, he was on two doses of Versed, the conscious sedative, not to mention severely stranger shy and EXTREMELY scared the entire test. He cried the entire time. The heart has nothing to do with his diagnoses of breath holding, which he will eventually grow out of they said. Could it be possible that these were false results? His appointment is later this week, but I have the worst case scenario in my head. Figured I would get a little perspective beforehand. He is 14 months old by the way and never been ill and his 3d sonos showed nothing wrong with his heart when I was pregnant.
Breath holding spells are common in this age group. It sounds like your child had a very thorough evaluation. It sounds like the echocardiogram suggested moderate dilation of the aorta. Often this is an incidental finding since there are no signs of this on a physical exam. This could be due to a number of things, and is likely unrelated to the breath holding spells. The most common thing to find is a 2 leaflet aortic valve called a bicuspid aortic valve. Sometimes, in other patients, the aorta is enlarged due to a weakened wall. there are a family of connective tissue disorders that are associated with aortic dilation, one of which is Marfan syndrome. You should be prepared to tell the cardiologist whether there are any tall thin people in the family, any people who are known to have aortic aneurysms or who died suddenly at young ages. If the cardiologist agrees that the aorta is enlarged, then a referral to a genetic specialist would be indicated.
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