Pattern of congenital heart disease among children presenting to the Uganda Heart Institute, Mulago Hospital: a 7-year review

  • Judith Namuyonga
  • Sulaiman Lubega
  • Twalib Aliku
  • John Omagino
  • Craig Sable
  • Peter Lwabi
Keywords: Congenital heart disease; children; Uganda.


Background: Congenital heart disease (CHD) is the most common congenital anomaly in children. Over half of the deaths due to CHD occur in the neonatal period. Most children with unrepaired complex heart lesions do not live to celebrate their first birthday. We describe the spectrum of congenital heart disease in Uganda.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the data of children with CHD who presented to the Uganda Heart Institute (UHI), Mulago Hospital Complex from 2007 to 2014.

Results: A total of 4621 children were seen at the UHI during the study period. Of these, 3526 (76.3%) had CHD; 1941(55%) were females. Isolated ventricular septal defect (VSD) was the most common CHD seen in 923 (27.2%) children followed by Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) 760 (22%) and atrial septal defects (ASD) 332 (9.4%). Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF) and Truncus arteriosus were the most common cyanotic heart defects (7% and 5% respectively). Dysmorphic features were diagnosed in 185 children, of which 61 underwent genetic testing (Down syndrome=24, 22q11.2 deletion syndrome n=10). Children with confirmed 22q11.2 deletion had conotruncal abnormalities.

Conclusion: Isolated VSD and Tetralogy of Fallot are the most common acyanotic and cyanotic congenital heart defects. We report an unusually high occurrence of Truncus arteriosus.

Keywords: Congenital heart disease; children; Uganda.


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eISSN: 1680-6905