n Cardiovascular Journal of Africa - The prevalence of symptomatic infantile heart disease at Louga Regional Hospital, Senegal : cardiovascular topics

Volume 26, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 1995-1892
  • E-ISSN: 1680-0745



The management of congenital or acquired infantile heart diseases in sub-Saharan African countries still presents problems, particularly with diagnosis and access to surgical treatment. Our objectives were to describe the heart diseases observed in the paediatric setting of the Louga Regional Hospital (LRH) and report their short-term evolution. In the study period from 1 July 2009 to 31 December2012, 82 children out of 18 815 presented with heart disease, which was a prevalence of 4.3/1 000. There was a female predominance, with a ratio of 1.2. The most frequent presenting conditions were dyspnoea at 47.5%, followed by heart murmurs at 35.3%, and congestive heart failure at 13.4%. Congenital heart diseases were the most frequent, representing 69.5% of the cases, followed by acquired heart diseases at 29.3%, and mixed-type cases at 1.2%. The most frequently encountered congenital heart diseases were ventricular septal defect (24.4%), followed by atrioventricular septal defect (12.2%), tetralogy of Fallot (9.8%) and patent ductus arteriosus (7.3%). Acquired heart disease was represented by rheumatic heart disease, found in 25.6% of the cases, and tuberculous pericarditis in 3.7%. The mortality rate was high, with 20 children dying (24.4%) during the study period. Only 13 out of 82 patients (15.9%) were operable and surgery was carried out in France, courtesy of the association Humanitarian Mécénat Chirurgie Cardiaque. Infantile heart diseases were therefore not very frequent in the paediatric unit of Louga Regional Hospital. However, congenital heart disease was more frequent than acquired heart disease, with a high mortality rate. Access to surgery remains limited.

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