The cyanotic heart diseases are those in which there is a mixing of desaturated (oxygen poor) venous circulation with the oxygen rich systemic arterial circulation. This often occurs in the heart because of atrial or ventricular septal defects that allow intracardiac mixing of the two circulations, resulting in a bluish color (cyanosis). Cyanosis is also exaggerated if there is decreased blood flow to the lungs. Pulmonary stenosis at many levels is a common feature of cyanotic heart lesions in general.
The problems the adult patient with one of these diseases may experience depend on the nature of the defect or condition (see links to specific defects below). Please click on each topic to read more about the defect and the adult patient.