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A cyanotic heart defect is any congenital heart defect (CHD) that occurs due to deoxygenated blood bypassing the lungs and entering the systemic circulation, or a mixture of oxygenated and unoxygenated blood entering the systemic circulation. It is caused by structural defects of the heart such as right-to-left or bidirectional shunting, malposition of the great arteries, or any condition which increases pulmonary vascular resistance. The result may be the development of collateral circulation.

Cyanotic heart defect
Other namesRight-to-left circulatory shunt[1]


Signs and symptomsEdit

  • Clubbing
  • The patient assuming a crouching position
  • Cyanosis - bluish face, particularly the lips; and bluish fingers and toes
  • Crying
  • Crabbiness/irritability
  • Tachycardia
  • Tachypnea
  • A history of inadequate feeding.
  • Unusually large toe & fingernails.
  • Delayed development (both biological & psychological).



  • Morphine during Tet spells to decrease associated infundibular spasm.
  • Prophylactic: Propranolol/Inderall
  • Prostaglandin E (to keep the ductus arteriosus patent)
  • Prophylactic antibiotic to prevent endocarditis
  • Surgery: Glenn Shunt, Hemi-Fontan Procedure, Fontan Procedure. The purpose of these operations is to redirect the blood flow of the deoxygenated blood to the lungs by attaching the Superior Vena Cava directly to the Pulmonary Artery causing the blood that flows into the lungs to be oxygenated before entering the chambers on the right side of the heart. Mathematical models are used to address the issue of pressure level alterations of circulation after the procedures. The pulmonary pressure resistance in the cavopulmonary connection is increased, and these models permit clear analyses of the pressure increase allowing doctors to avoid possible venous circulation congestion.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Cyanotic heart disease: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia". Retrieved 27 May 2019.
  2. ^ Page Elizabeth D Agabegi; Agabegi, Steven S. (2008). Step-Up to Medicine (Step-Up Series). Hagerstwon, MD: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. ISBN 0-7817-7153-6.

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External resources