Which cardiac findings are characteristic of Down syndrome?

Updated: Apr 30, 2018
  • Author: Gratias Tom Mundakel, MBBS, DCH; Chief Editor: Maria Descartes, MD  more...
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Congenital heart defects are common (40-50%); they are frequently observed in patients with Down syndrome who are hospitalized (62%) and are a common cause of death in this aneuploidy in the first 2 years of life.

The most common congenital heart defects are the following:

About 30% of patients have more than one cardiac defect. The most common secondary lesions are patent ductus arteriosus (16%), atrial septal defect, and pulmonic stenosis (9%). About 70% of all endocardial cushion defects are associated with Down syndrome.

Valve abnormalities, such as mitral valve prolapse or aortic regurgitation may develop in up to 40-50% of adolescents and adults who were born without structural heart disease. [31]

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