Obstructive Heart Defects

Depending on the specific lesion, left (to the body) or right (to the lungs) ventricular blood flow is blocked or inhibited in obstructive heart defects. Obstructive lesions, which include coarctation of the aorta, aortic valve stenosis, mitral valve stenosis, and pulmonary valve stenosis, may also occur in conjunction with other congenital heart defects. Obstructive lesions usually require cardiac catheterization and/or surgical intervention. With correction, children and adolescents generally function with no significant physical limitations, other than the common recommendation against participation in competitive athletics. Coarctation of the aorta and aortic valve stenosis account for 9%-14% of childhood heart defects, and pulmonary valve stenosis accounts for 5%-7% (Bernstein 2000).

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