Pediatric Heart Expert Forum
Can anyone help with any advice or knowledge ?
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Questions in this forum are answered by pediatric cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons and anesthesiologists from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. This forum is for questions and support about pediatric heart problems, symptoms and topics such as heart murmurs, palpitations, fainting, chest pain, congenital heart defects (including management and intervention), fetal cardiology, adult congenital cardiology, arrhythmias and pre-participation athletic screening.

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Can anyone help with any advice or knowledge ?

Hi , I am 26 weeks pregnant and after a recent Echocardiograph on baby he was found to have biventricular hypertrophy particularly of the left side . This has been a huge shock to us and I am really struggling to cope with not knowing whats going to happen . The Drs so far have been very down the middle with any prognosis not knowing yet why baby has this condition . We have waited 4 weeks and are going for a further scan in just 6 days to see what the difference is on the heart in the recent weeks . We go from having some hope to complete devestation and it would be lovely if anyone has any similar experience of this condition or has any advice for us ? Many thanks if anyone can help . We live in the United Kingdom x
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Dear Cherries,

Without knowing all of the details of the study, I can’t say for sure what is going on.  However, I would be concerned about a few potential problems.  One is called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which is a genetic abnormality in which there is uncontrolled abnormal muscle growth in the heart.  Another potential problem could be that there is a metabolic abnormality in your baby, in which there is a build-up of some by-product of an abnormal biochemical pathway.  This by-product may not be able to be appropriately eliminated from the body and is stored in cells, including heart muscle cells.  Yet another potential problem is that one of the valves is obstructed, which is causing the heart to have to pump against an obstruction.  This causes thickening of the heart muscle.  Finally, but less likely, if you have diabetes and your blood sugar has not been well controlled during your pregnancy, the baby’s heart can be thickened.

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy can often be treated with medications and/or surgery, as can cardiac valve obstruction.  Metabolic disorders typically cannot, however.  Also, what is worrisome is that the hypertrophy is manifesting so early on at this point.  Therefore, it will be important to ensure that you are getting appropriate follow-up for now, with the realization that there is a chance that your baby may be very sick at birth, or may not even survive to birth.
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