Pediatric Tricuspid Atresia

Pediatric Tricuspid Atresia

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Summary

Pediatric tricuspid atresia is a congenital (present at birth) heart defect where the heart valve that controls the flow of oxygen-poor blood back into the heart never formed during development.

Expanded overview

In a healthy heart, blood is pumped to the lungs to pick up oxygen. It is then sent out to the rest of the body and back again to start the process over. Without the tricuspid valve, blood flows through another opening that would normally close during development or shortly after birth. This causes oxygen-poor and oxygen-rich blood to mix and return to the body without completing the normal circulation process. This means less oxygen overall is delivered to the body.

Symptoms

Symptoms usually occur in the first few hours of life, but can appear within days.

  • Cyanosis (bluish discoloration of the skin, fingernails and mouth due to lack of oxygen)
  • Fast breathing
  • Fatigue (tiredness)
  • Poor eating habits
  • Shortness of breath
  • Heart murmur (irregular heartbeat)

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