Einsenmenger's syndrome is a serious complication due to congenital heart defects, where the heart pumps oxygen-poor blood throughout the body. About 1 in 110 babies are suspected of having congenital heart defects at birth. If not handled before the child turns 2 years of age, this disorder will cause disruption of circulation in the body, called Eisenmenger syndrome. To better understand the process of Einsenmenger's syndrome, it's good we understand how normal heart work. The human heart is divided into 4 bulkheads, two on the right and two on the left. The right heart pumps blood to the lungs. In the lungs, the blood will be enriched by oxygen, which will then be channeled into the left heart. The left side of the heart is responsible for pumping oxygen-rich blood throughout the body through the aortic vessels.
When there are abnormalities, for example there is a hole between the right and left heart, blood from the left heart will also flow into the right heart. This is because the left heart has a higher pressure than the right heart. In the end, the blood will accumulate in the lungs and damage the blood vessels inside.
Blood stacks in the lungs over time will cause increased pressure in the lungs, so that the blood flow will reverse from the right heart to the left heart. As a result, oxygen-rich blood will mix with dirty blood (blood that has not entered the lungs) to be pumped throughout the body. Ultimately, the organs and tissues will not get enough oxygen and this will lead to a life-threatening condition.
The disorder of Eisenmenger syndrome usually begins when the patient is 2 years or older. However, symptoms do not always appear fully and may take years to be felt by the patient. Generally, patients begin to feel it at the time of adolescence or adulthood. Eisenmenger's syndrome is also at risk for patients undergoing heart abnormalities or by people with heart-related illnesses that are not monitored and handled appropriately.
What causes Eisenmenger's syndrome?
Most cases of Eisenmenger's syndrome are caused by a congenital abnormality of holes or damage between the heart chambers. Conditions related to it include:
- Ventricular septal defect. The hole between the right and left ventricle (ventricle) becomes the most common cause of Eisenmenger's syndrome.
- Atrial septal defect. Holes between the right and upper left ventricle chambers (atria).
- Ductus arteriosus. A hole between the aorta (the blood vessel that supplies blood throughout the body) and the pulmonary artery (the blood vessels that supply blood to the lungs).
- Atrioventricular canal defect. Deep hole between the atrium (the upper heart barrier) and the ventricles (the lower heart barrier). In this case, some heart valves do not work well.
- Because the main cause of Eisenmenger's syndrome is heart abnormalities at birth, it is advisable to perform an early examination. In addition, examination is also recommended if you have family members with the same case or with other heart disorders.
Symptoms of Eisenmenger Syndrome
Given a greater risk to infants, parents should be more vigilant if their child is born with a heart condition or has a risk of inheriting from family genetics. Immediately see a doctor if your child has symptoms of Eisenmenger's syndrome, such as blue or pale skin color, decreased appetite, often sweating for no apparent reason, slow growth, or lung infections.