Hypoplastic left-heart syndrome

A very serious form of congenital heart disease (see heart disease, congenital). The baby is born with a poorly formed left ventricle, often associated with other heart defects. The aorta is malformed and blood can reach it only via a duct (the ductus arteriosus) that links the aorta to the pulmonary artery. At birth, the baby may seem healthy. However, within a day or 2 the ductus arteriosus naturally closes off and the baby collapses, becoming pale and breathless. In most cases, hypoplastic left-heart syndrome cannot be treated surgically, and most affected babies die within a week. A few infants have been treated with heart transplants.


Online Medical Dictionary: Your essential reference to over 5000 medical terms.