JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Noncardiac malformations in congenital heart disease: a retrospective analysis of 305 pediatric autopsies.

Congenital heart disease (CHD) is one of the important groups of birth defects and contributes significantly to infant mortality. Extracardiac anomalies occur in 15-45% of cases with CHD. In this retrospective study, autopsies of cases born alive and diagnosed as CHD between 1977-2002 at Hacettepe University Ihsan Doğramaci Children's Hospital, Pediatric Pathology Department, were investigated. In this period, a total of 3320 autopsies were performed and the incidence of CHD was 9.1%. The most commonly encountered CHD was ventricular septal defect (VSD) (15.3%). In 45.9% of cases, one or more extracardiac malformations were present. The most commonly encountered extracardiac malformation was craniofacial malformations. Less commonly seen were malformations of genitourinary, musculoskeletal, respiratory, gastrointestinal, central nervous systems and spleen anomalies. Ventricular septal defect, atrial septal defect (ASD), aortic coarctation, single ventricle, pulmonary stenosis, hypoplastic right heart syndrome, double outlet right ventricle, ASD+VSD, aortic arcus anomalies, and right and left atrial isomerism cases were often (>50%) accompanied by extracardiac malformations. No extracardiac malformations were detected accompanying pulmonary atresia with intact interventricular septum, Ebstein malformation, and mitral stenosis (MS). Spleen malformation was significantly high in cases with single ventricle (p<0.002). The anomalies of the gastrointestinal and genitourinary systems were found to be frequently associated with conotruncal heart defects (p<0.001). In the group with transposition of the great arteries, noncardiac malformations were present in only three cases (10%), differing from the rest of the material (p<0.001). In conclusion, when a heart malformation is detected in a patient, a detailed investigation should be done on extracardiac malformations or vice versa. Proper identification and treatment of CHD early in the prenatal period will save the family from the economic and emotional burden caused by having such a child with CHD.

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