Heart Block, Congenital
National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.
It is possible that the main title of the report Heart Block, Congenital is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.
Congenital heart block is characterized by interference with the transfer of the electrical nerve impulses (conduction) that regulate the normal, rhythmic, pumping action of the heart muscle (heart block). The severity of such conduction abnormalities varies among affected individuals.
The normal heart has four chambers. The two upper chambers are the atria and the two lower chambers are the ventricles. Within the right atrium of a normal heart is a natural pacemaker that initiates and controls the heartbeat. The electrical stimulus travels from the pacemaker (sinoatrial or SA node) to the ventricles along a very specific path consisting of conducting tissue and known as the AV (atrioventricular) node. As long as the electrical impulse is transmitted normally, the heart behaves normally.
If the transmission of the signal is impeded, the blocked transmission is known as a heart block or an AV block. If the heart block occurs in the fetus or newborn, the condition is known as congenital heart block. This condition has nothing at all to do with the flow of blood or with the blockage of a major or minor coronary artery. It is an electrical problem rather than a hydraulic one.
Heart blocks are categorized according to the degree of impairment of the patient. The categories are first, second and third degree heart block.
American Heart Association
7272 Greenville Avenue
Dallas, TX 75231
NIH/National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute
P.O. Box 30105
Bethesda, MD 20892-0105
Kids With Heart ~ National Association for Children's Heart Disorders, Inc.
1578 Careful Dr.
Green Bay, WI 54304
Little Hearts, Inc.
P.O. Box 171
110 Court Street, Suite 3A
Cromwell, CT 06416
Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center
PO Box 8126
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
Fetal Hope Foundation
9786 South Holland Street
Littleton, CO 80127
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The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only. NORD recommends that affected individuals seek the advice or counsel of their own personal physicians.
It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report
This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.
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Last Updated: 4/12/2008
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