A congenital heart defect is a malformation in the structure of the heart that is present at birth. One of the most common congenital heart defects affects the aorta, the body’s main artery. The aorta leads out of the top of the heart and sends oxygenated blood throughout the body.
With aortic congenital heart disease, the aorta may be misshaped. In other cases, the aortic or pulmonary valve may be the wrong size, have malformed leaflets that can’t open or close properly, or have leaflets that are not connected correctly.
Some congenital defects affecting the aorta include:
The age at which a person is diagnosed with a congenital aortic heart disorder depends on the defect. In severe cases, it might be diagnosed in childhood.