Heart and Blood Conditions

Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome

Symptoms of Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome

Most babies with hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) develop symptoms within the first days after birth if not properly treated.

Common symptoms include:

  • Bluish skin, lips or nailbeds (cyanosis) or pale skin
  • Being more tired than is normal
  • Trouble feeding
  • Fast breathing or working hard to breathe
  • Cold arms and legs
  • Weak pulse

Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome Diagnosis

Prenatal diagnosis

HLHS can be diagnosed when a baby is in the womb using a fetal echocardiogram (fetal echo). This is a specialized ultrasound that uses sound waves to view and make pictures of a developing baby’s heart during pregnancy. The results are interpreted by a pediatric heart doctor (cardiologist) who specializes in fetal congenital heart disease.

Your obstetrician may refer you for a fetal echo if your family has a history of congenital heart disease or if a routine prenatal ultrasound indicates a problem.

We provide accurate diagnosis, thoughtful counseling and pregnancy management support through our Prenatal Diagnosis and Treatment Program.

Diagnosis in newborns

To diagnose this condition, your doctor will examine your baby, check their heartbeat and pulse and listen to their heart.

The doctor will ask for details about your child’s symptoms, their health history and your family health history.

Your child will need tests that provide more information about how their heart looks and works. These may include electrocardiogram, echocardiography, chest X-rays, cardiac catheterization and pulse oximetry.

Contact Us

Contact the Heart Center at 206-987-2015 for a cardiac referral, a second opinion or more information.