What is cyanotic heart disease?

Also known as: congenital heart disease, “blue babies.”

Cyanotic heart disease refers to a group of congenital (present at birth) heart defects in babies that present with a characteristic blue color of the skin. This blue color is known as cyanosis. With this condition, the blood that is pumped out to the body from the heart does not carry enough oxygen from the lungs.

Cyanotic heart disease results from a number of conditions where blood from the body (where the oxygen has already been used by the body tissues) mixes with the blood from the lungs carrying oxygen. This mixing is sometimes called a left-to-right shunt.

Types of cyanotic heart disease include valve defects like:


Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: 1/29/2019 3:21:13 PM

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