Tricuspid Atresia -- Child

Tricuspid atresia is an abnormal development of the right side of the heart. It includes a missing valve between the upper and lower chamber and a smaller than normal lower chamber. Tricuspid atresia can make it difficult for your heart to efficiently pump blood to the lungs to get oxygen. Some may also have holes in the wall between the left and right side of the heart. The holes allow oxygen-rich and oxygen-poor blood to mix.

  • Causes

    Tricuspid atresia develops when the baby is in the womb. It is not known exactly why some hearts develop this way.

  • Definition

    Tricuspid atresia is an abnormal development of the right side of the heart. It includes a missing valve between the upper and lower chamber and a smaller than normal lower chamber. Tricuspid atresia can make it difficult for your heart to efficiently pump blood to the lungs to get oxygen. Some may also have holes in the wall between the left and right side of the heart. The holes allow oxygen-rich and oxygen-poor blood to mix.

    Heart Chambers and Valves
    heart anatomy
    Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.
    Blood Flow Through the Heart
    IMAGE
    Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

  • Diagnosis

    Tricuspid atresia may be diagnosed
    before birth.


    After birth, the doctor may suspect a tricuspid atresia if the baby has a blue-ish color and a
    heart murmur
    is detected during a physical exam.

    To confirm the diagnosis and determine the severity of the heart defects, your doctor may order imaging tests such as:

    • Echocardiogram
      —to look at the size, shape, and motion of the heart
    • Chest x-ray
    • Electrocardiogram
      —to assess the electrical activity of the heart
    • Cardiac catheterization
      —to assess the heart and its blood supply

  • Prevention

    Preventing fetal heart defects may not always be possible. Good prenatal care may reduce some type of congenital heart defects. Prenatal care includes:

    • Visit the doctor regularly to monitor your health and the health of the baby.
    • Eat nutritious food and take prenatal vitamins

    • Do not drink alcohol,
      smoke
      , or use drugs during pregnancy
    • Practicing good hygiene and staying away from people who are sick.

  • Risk Factors

    Factors that increase the risk for congenital heart defects like tricuspid atresia include:

    • Family history of congenital heart defect

    • Chromosomal disorder such as
      Down syndrome

    • Previous pregnancy with fetal heart abnormalities or
      miscarriage

    • Conditions during pregnancy, such as:

      • Being infected with a virus
      • Having poorly controlled diabetes
      • Drinking alcohol
      • Taking certain medicines

  • Symptoms

    Symptoms may include:

    • Blue or pale grayish skin color
    • Fast breathing
    • Sweating
    • Poor feeding/poor weight gain
    • Fatigue

  • Treatment


    Treatment is important to prevent severe complications such as
    heart failure
    . Treatments may include: