Home : Heart & Lifestyle Information : Medical Information : Single Ventricle Heart Conditions : Tricuspid Atresia
Tricuspid Atresia is a congenital heart condition (a problem that a baby is born with). As the heart forms the valve between the right collecting chamber (Right Atrium) and the right pumping chamber (Right Ventricle) does not develop. This means that no blue (deoxygenated) blood passes through the right side of the heart to the lungs.
A hole (Atrial Septal Defect) forms between the right and left collecting chambers (Atria) and the blue blood passes into the left side of the heart and mixes with the red (oxygenated) blood and passes through the left side of the heart. Some of the blood then leaves the heart via the body artery (Aorta) and some passes through a hole (Ventricular Septal Defect) between the left and right pumping chambers (Ventricles) into the right side of the heart where it is then pumped to the lungs via the lung artery (Pulmonary Artery). The circulation to the lungs is aided, before birth, by a connection between the lung and body arteries (Patent Ductus Arteriosus). See section on Circulation Before Birth.
Some children with Tricuspid Atresia also have other heart problems, for example, the major arteries leaving the heart are swapped around (Transposition of the Great Arteries) and/or a hole between the two pumping chambers (Ventricular Septal Defect). This altered circulation means that a reduced amount of blue (deoxygenated) blood reaches the lungs to collect oxygen for use by the body, and a mixture of blue and red blood passes around the body. The children may be blue at birth, due to a lack of body oxygen. They usually need surgery within the first few days or months of life. It is important to keep the blood vessel between the lungs and the body (Patent Ductus Arteriosus) open after birth as this gives the medical team and parents the opportunity to plan the baby’s treatment path before the child’s condition deteriorates. See section on Circulation Before Birth.
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Last updated: Aug 2011