Tag Archives: heart defect

Tricuspid atresia

Tricuspid atresia is a heart defect present at birth (congenital) in which one of the valves (tricuspid valve) between two of the heart’s chambers isn’t formed. Instead, there’s solid tissue between the chambers.

If your baby is born with tricuspid atresia, blood cannot flow through the heart and into the lungs to pick up oxygen as it normally would. The result is the lungs can’t supply the rest of your baby’s body with the oxygen it needs. Babies with tricuspid atresia tire easily, are often short of breath and have blue-tinged skin.

Surgery and medications are treatment options for tricuspid atresia. With advances over the last several decades, the outlook for babies with tricuspid atresia is better than in the past.

Tricuspid atresia occurs during fetal growth when your baby’s heart is developing. While some factors, such as heredity or Down syndrome, may increase your baby’s risk of tricuspid atresia, in most cases the cause is unknown.

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Truncus arteriosus

Truncus arteriosus (TRUNG-kus ahr-teer-e-O-sus) is a heart defect that creates severe circulatory problems. If your baby has truncus arteriosus, one large vessel leads out of the heart, instead of two separate vessels — one leading out of each of the lower chambers of the heart. Also, the two lower chambers are missing a portion of the wall dividing them. As a result of truncus arteriosus, oxygen-poor blood that should go to the lungs and oxygen-rich blood that should go to the rest of the body are mixed together.

If left untreated, truncus arteriosus usually leads to death within the first or second year of life. Surgery to repair the heart and blood vessels is usually successful, especially if the repair occurs before your baby is 2 months old.

Truncus arteriosus, one of the least common heart defects, is also known as persistent truncus arteriosus.

Truncus arteriosus occurs during fetal growth when your baby’s heart is developing and is, therefore, present at birth (congenital). In most cases the cause is unknown. An overview of typical heart structure and function is helpful in understanding the defects of truncus arteriosus.

The heart
Your heart has four pumping chambers that circulate your blood. The “doors” of the chambers (valves) control the flow of blood, opening and closing to ensure that blood flows in a single direction.

The heart’s four chambers are: Continue reading Truncus arteriosus

About Transposition of the great arteries

Transposition of the great arteries is a heart defect present at birth (congenital), in which the two main arteries leaving the heart are reversed (transposed). The condition changes the way blood circulates through the body, leaving a shortage of oxygen in blood flowing from the heart to the rest of the body. Without an adequate supply of oxygen-rich blood, the body can’t function properly.

Transposition of the great arteries is usually detected at birth or within the first few weeks of life.

Corrective surgery within the first weeks of life is the usual treatment. Having a baby with transposition of the great arteries is naturally worrisome to you as a parent. Remember that with proper treatment, most babies with congenital heart defects grow up to lead healthy, productive lives.

Symptoms

Typical signs and symptoms of transposition of the great arteries include:

  • Blue color of the skin (cyanosis)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Lack of appetite
  • Poor weight gain

Causes

Transposition of the great arteries occurs during fetal growth when your baby’s heart is developing. Why this defect occurs is unknown in most cases. Continue reading About Transposition of the great arteries