Differential diagnosis of congenital heart disease

Approach to the differential diagnosis of congenital heart disease:

  • The clinical presence or absence of cyanosis correlated with the presence of increased or decreased pulmonary blood flow on CXR allows a congenital heart disease DDX to be generated
  • In the ancient past, classic CXR signs of congenital heart disease could be used to help make the diagnosis. However, as these signs can take years to develop on a CXR, they are of less practical use today when congenital heart disease is diagnosed in-utero or in the immediate post-natal period
  • Echocardiography is the means to rapidly obtain a diagnosis of congenital heart disease today