Persistent Ventricula

What is Persistent Ventricualr Flow?

Persistent ventricular flow (PVF) is a rare condition that affects the heart’s pumping action. In PVF, one of the ventricles, or chambers, of the heart is unable to completely contract and fill with blood, causing a continuous flow of blood even while the heart is at rest. It is usually seen in preterm babies. PVF may cause congestive heart failure, arrhythmias, or a decrease in the amount of oxygen delivered to the organs of the body.

Causes of Persistent Ventricular Flow

The exact cause of PVF is not always known. It can be caused by congenital heart defects such as congenital ventricular septal defect or an underdeveloped valve, or it can be acquired as a result of an infection or a traumatic injury. PVF can also occur from a decrease in the muscle strength of the heart, which is common in premature babies.

Symptoms of Persistent Ventricular Flow

The most common symptom of PVF is a rapid heart rate. Other symptoms include fatigue, difficulty breathing, and swelling of the legs and feet. If left untreated, PVF can lead to congestive heart failure, arrhythmias, or decrease in oxygen delivery to the organs of the body.

Diagnosis of Persistent Ventricular Flow

The diagnosis of PVF is usually made by a combination of physical examination and diagnostic tests. These may include an echocardiogram (ECHO) to examine the heart’s structure, a chest X-ray to examine the lungs, and an electrocardiogram (EKG) to measure the electrical activity of the heart.

Treatment of Persistent Ventricular Flow

The primary goal of treatment for PVF is to reduce the flow of blood through the affected ventricle. This may be done through medication, surgery, or a combination of the two. Medications can include ACE inhibitors, diuretics, beta blockers, and calcium channel blockers. Surgery may include open-heart surgery to repair or replace the affected valve or to close the ventricular septal defect. Other procedures such as a catheter-based procedure or an implantable pacemaker may be used to regulate the heart's rhythm.

Complications of Persistent Ventricular Flow

Complications from persistent ventricular flow can include heart failure, arrhythmias, decreased oxygen delivery to the organs of the body, and sudden death. To reduce the risk of these complications, it is important to make sure that the condition is managed appropriately with proper medical treatment and follow-up care.

Prevention of Persistent Ventricular Flow

Preventing persistent ventricular flow begins with good prenatal care to detect and treat any heart defects in the fetus. After birth, it is important to recognize the symptoms of PVF and receive prompt medical attention if they are present. Additionally, it is important to seek regular well-child visits and follow-up care to monitor the heart's health and detect any developing complications.