Pediatric Heart Expert Forum
shortness of breath
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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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shortness of breath

About a year ago, my son who is 6 had his mitral valve replaced.  The cause of his heart damage is unknown.  He was a previously healthy child.  During this ordeal, it also damaged his aortic valve as well.  The leakage is mild/moderate.  He is on cumadin (coumadin) and enalipril.  My question is that we have noticed that he has shortness of breath when there is any exertion or physical activity.  He often recovers quickly but I am concerned that either he needs the blood pressure medication increased or the aortic valve needs to be evaluated again.  What do you think?
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You are correct that shortness of breath can be a sign of valve dysfunction, either due to increasing leakage of his aortic valve or from some change in the function of the replaced mitral valve.  On the other hand, it could be something as simple as exercise-induced asthma.  You should contact your pediatric cardiologist and discuss your concerns, and decide whether another assessment is necessary before any medications are changed.
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