The use of sequential segmental analysis for describing congenital heart malformations was the method of assessment used in a prospective necropsy study covering Jutland, a well defined geographical and demographic area of Denmark. The study group was 1,154 children of whom 261 (22.6%) had a congenital heart malformation. The most common malformations were ductus arteriosus and ventricular septal defect and there were 77 cases in which connections between chambers or between chambers and great arteries were anomalous (68 liveborn; 37 male and 31 female: nine stillborn; two male and seven female). No difference in sex distribution or seasonal variation was found between those with congenital heart disease and those without. Extracardiac malformations and chromosomal abnormalities were more often seen in children with congenital heart malformation than those without (30.3% vs 16.6%). The sequential segmental analysis is a logical and precise way of describing congenital heart malformations and it should be routinely used to classify cases of congenital heart malformation.
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