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At first, a newborn with hypoplastic left heart may appear normal. Symptoms usually occur in the first few hours of life, although it may take up to a few days to develop symptoms. These symptoms may include:
In healthy newborns, bluish color in the hands and feet is a response to cold (this reaction is called peripheral cyanosis).
However, a bluish color in the chest or abdomen, lips, and tongue is abnormal (called central cyanosis). It is a sign that there is not enough oxygen in the blood. Central cyanosis often increases with crying.
A physical exam may show signs of heart failure:
Also, the pulse at various locations (wrist, groin, and others) may be very weak. There are usually (but not always) abnormal heart sounds when listening to the chest.
Tests may include:
Zipes DP, Libby P, Bonow RO, Braunwald E, eds. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine. 8th ed. St. Louis, Mo: WB Saunders; 2007.
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