Blood Vessel and Heart Abnormalities

by John McLachlan, PhD

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    Hello, and welcome to this lecture on the abnormalities of the heart and the great blood vessels. I think it’s important, before you review this lecture, that you’re familiar with the normal development of the heart which, as we saw in that lecture, is actually quite complicated, and we will not be repeating all of that in this one. In fact, we’re going to take a different strategy in this one altogether. What we’re going to do is to explore the major defects, so ventricular septal defect, atrial septal defect, tetralogy of fallot, patent ductus arteriosus, and coarctation of the aorta. First of all, I want to present it to you with a clinical scenario. So let’s imagine that you’re dealing with a six-week-old male baby, and the baby is presented with poor weight gain. So it’s slow to gain weight, it’s slow at feeding, has persistent infections, particularly chest infections, a heart murmur audible in the stethoscope, and some signs of cyanosis. Now, cyanosis is a bluish discoloration of the skin and mucus membranes. As a doctor, you’d have to think what diagnosis is relevant here. Because of this, we’ll be looking, first of all, at the kinds of things that might happen as a result of a particular heart defect and you will encounter this. They are relatively common. Now, what I’ve just listed are a series of signs. Clinical signs are things that you can spot objectively. That’s contrasted with symptoms which are what the patient can report to you. Obviously in the case of a newborn baby, they will not be reporting any symptoms, so you’ll be looking for signs only. How common are heart defects? There is a Europe-wide reporting system which monitors birth defects, and that reports about 80 babies per 10,000 live...

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Blood Vessel and Heart Abnormalities by John McLachlan, PhD is from the course System-Specific Embryology. It contains the following chapters:

    • Diagnosing Abnormalities of the Heart
    • The Ventricular and Atrial Septal Defect
    • Tetralogy of Fallot
    • Patent Ductus Arteriosus
    • Coarctation of the Aorta

    Author of lecture Blood Vessel and Heart Abnormalities

     John McLachlan, PhD

    John McLachlan, PhD

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