Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Return

Also known as: total anomalous pulmonary venous return, TAPVR, partial anomalous pulmonary venous return, PAPVR

What is Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Return?

In a normal heart, there are four veins that return blood with oxygen from the lungs to the heart's left upper chamber (the left atrium). Two from the left lung and two from the right lung. When one or more of these veins are attached to the wrong part of the heart or another blood vessel, it's known as anomalous pulmonary venous return.

What causes anomalous pulmonary venous return?

It's unclear what causes anomalous pulmonary venous return to occur in some (less than 1%) babies.

What are the symptoms of anomalous pulmonary venous return?

The timing and the severity of symptoms depends on how many of the veins are affected and whether any of them are narrowed, blocking blood flow. Anomalies of  pulmonary venous return can be severe with symptoms occurring early, or minor with symptoms being mild and occurring later in childhood. In severe cases a baby may have trouble breathing, breath rapidly, feel clammy, be irritable, feed poorly, not grow, and have a blue color.

What are anomalous pulmonary venous return care options?

As severe forms of Anomalous pulmonary venous return are serious heart defects, surgery will need to be undertaken very quickly after birth in order for the child to survive. Surgery may de delayed for a few months for milder forms.

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: 5/30/2019 1:24:26 PM

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PAPVR Repair

Pulmonary veins are blood vessels that deliver oxygenated blood from the lungs into the left side of the heart. Partial anomalous pulmonary venous return (PAPVR) is a heart defect that is sometimes present at birth, in which one or two of the pulmonary veins of the heart drain blood into the right atrium instead of the left atrium. This causes the oxygen-rich blood to flow back to the lungs instead of the rest of the body, which can cause a number of complications. Learn more