Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS) | Diagnosis and Evaluation

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How is hypoplastic left heart syndrome diagnosed before birth?

Most pregnant women have fetal ultrasounds during the course of their pregnancies. If a basic (level one) ultrasound shows the possibility of heart abnormalities, a more detailed cardiac ultrasound — fetal echocardiography — can correctly diagnose your baby’s heart defect. In addition, fetal magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may provide more information about the heart.

What happens immediately after a baby is born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome?

Most babies with hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) appear healthy immediately after birth. If your baby was not diagnosed during pregnancy, it will become apparent within the first few hours to days that your baby has a heart defect. Some combination (not necessarily all) of the following medical tests will be used to diagnose or evaluate HLHS and its related defects in a newborn:

Based on the results of the evaluation and the extent of the HLHS, doctors will determine the best treatment approach and the necessary interventions required.

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