Truncus Arteriosus

Also known as: common truncus

What is Truncus Arteriosus?

In a normal heart, there are two blood vessels leading away from the heart: One taking oxygen-poor blood to the lungs, and one taking oxygen-rich blood to the rest of the body. With truncus arteriosus, the body only has one vessel leading out of the heart, and the oxygen-rich and oxygen-poor blood are mixed together. This can cause serious problems.

What causes truncus arteriosus? 
Truncus arteriosus is a defect that babies are born with (congenital birth defect). It is often present with other heart problems. The exact cause is not known.

What are the symptoms of truncus arteriosus? 
As a lot of blood goes to the babies’ lungs, babies have problems breathing, breath faster,  their hearts work harder, they have an ashen or bluish skin color are extremely fatigued, sleepy and feed poorly.

What are truncus arteriosus care options? 
Medications to strengthen the heart  may be needed, and surgery is required to repair this defect as soon as possible. More than one operation may be required.

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: 6/12/2018 2:18:54 PM

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