The adaptation to extra uterine life is of interest because of its complexity and the ability to cause significant health concerns. In this article we describe the normal changes that occur and the commoner abnormalities that are due to failure of normal development and the effect of congenital cardiac disease. Abnormal development may occur as a result of problems with the mother, or with the fetus before birth. After birth it is essential to determine whether there is an underlying abnormality of the fetal pulmonary or cardiac development and to determine the best course of management of pulmonary hypertension or congenital cardiac disease. Causes of under-development, mal-development and mal-adaptation are described as are the causes of critical congenital heart disease. The methods of diagnosis and management are described to allow the neonatologist to successfully manage such newborns.
- Critical congenital heart disease
- Fetal circulation
- Nitric oxide
- Persistent pulmonary hypertension
- Pulmonary hypertension