Category:Cardiovascular System - Developmental Pathology

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Cardiovascular System - Developmental Pathology

Introduction Congenital heart disorders are structural and/or functional abnormalities that are present at birth. These defects are the result of either inherited abnormalities or insults to the fetus in utero. The most common conditions are listed below.

Congenital abnormalities occur relatively commonly in young (approximately 1% all human births). May produce dramatic clinical signs or signs may be vague, such as failure to thrive. Clinical signs may become more apparent as the animal grows and activity levels increase.

The aetiology of congenital defects of the heart and great vessels are mostly unknown. Possible contributing factors include:

  • Genetic; E.g. Mutation in the ova or sperm or mutation in the zygote.
  • Environmental; Includes infection (usually viral), chemical, nutritional and physical factors.

Understanding the normal development of the heart and great vessels allows an understanding of the morphology and pathology of the congenital abnormalities seen in mammals.