Cardiac malformation present at birth is an important component of pediatric cardiovascular disease. The etiology of congenital heart disease is multifaceted including environmental, genetic and stochastic factors. With the advancement of cardiac diagnostic and therapeutic techniques in the past decade, with relatively low morbidity and mortality, has led to more and more children with congenital heart disease living to adulthood. Therefore the role of prenatal and postnatal genetic counseling becomes even more paramount as there is a higher likelihood of these patients living to adulthood and having families of their own. Prenatal counseling allows for the expectant parents to understand the full ramifications of continuing the pregnancy and possible events after birth. It is a multidisciplinary approach to help parents reach an informed decision on how to best to proceed with the pregnancy. After the birth of the child with congenital heart defects, the course is significantly dependent on the type of cardiac lesion. Postnatally, if the lesion is amenable to surgery, therapeutics intervention is offered. The postnatal counseling session includes the possibility of performing advanced genetic testing to help determine the hereditary potential of the cardiac defect in future offspring.
Part of the book: Congenital Anomalies