Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS)
Several abnormalities of development occur on the left side of the heart:
Hypoplastic left heart describes the underdevelopment of the left side of the heart (left ventricle, aortic valve, and aorta). The condition is congenital (present at birth).
Hypoplastic left heart is a rare type of congenital heart disease. The problem develops before birth when there is inadequate growth of the left ventricle and associated structures (aortic and mitral valves that guard the exit and entrance of the ventricle and the aorta which is the blood vessel that carries oxygenated blood from the left ventricle to the entire body).
In patients with this condition, the left side of the heart is unable to maintain circulation for the body. As a result, the right side of the heart must maintain both pulmonary (lung) and systemic (body) circulation. This extra workload eventually causes the heart to fail.
The only possibility of survival is a connection between the right and the left side of the heart through which blood may pass. This is called a shunt. Babies are normally born with two of these connections (the foramen ovale and the ductus arteriosus), which spontaneously close a few days after birth.
There is no known cause of hypoplastic left heart syndrome. Up to 40% of patients with this condition have other birth defects.
Read more about this condition: