Transposition of the Great Vessels
Transposition of the great vessels is a heart flaw that occurs from birth (genetic). The 2 significant vessels that carry blood away from the heart – the aorta and the pulmonary artery – are switched (transposed).
What Causes Transposition of the Great Vessels?
The reason for a lot of genetic heart flaws is unknown.
Factors in the mom that may increase the risk for this condition consist of:
- Age over 40
- Alcohol addiction
- Poor nutrition during pregnancy (prenatal nutrition).
- Rubella or other viral illness during pregnancy.
Transposition of the great vessels is a cyanotic heart flaw. This implies there is reduced oxygen in the blood that is pumped from the heart to the remainder of the body.
In normal hearts, blood that returns from the body goes through the right side of the heart and lung artery to the lungs to obtain oxygen. The blood then returns to the left side of the heart and travels out the aorta to the body.
In transposition of the great vessels, the blood goes to the lungs, picks up oxygen, returns to the heart, and then flows right back to the lungs without ever going to the body. Blood from the body returns to the heart and goes back to the body without ever getting oxygen in the lungs.
Symptoms appear at birth or soon afterward. How bad the symptoms are depends on the type and size of extra heart problems (such as atrial septal flaw, ventricular septal problem, or patent ductus arteriosus) and how much the blood can mix in between the 2 unusual flows.
Symptoms of Transposition of the Great Vessels
Symptoms might include:
- Blueness of the skin.
- Clubbing of the fingers or toes.
- Poor feeding.
- Shortness of breath.
Transposition of the Great Vessels Diagnosis
The healthcare service provider might find a heart whispering while listening to the chest with a stethoscope. The baby’s mouth and skin will be a blue color.
Tests often consist of the following:
- Cardiac catheterization.
- Chest x-ray.
- Echocardiogram (if done before birth, it is called a fetal echocardiogram).
- Pulse oximetry (to examine blood oxygen level).
Treatment for Transposition of the Great Vessels
The baby will instantly get a medication called prostaglandin through an IV (intravenous line). This medication assists keep a blood vessel called the ductus arteriosus open, allowing some blending of the 2 blood circulations.
A procedure using a long, thin flexible tube (balloon atrial septostomy) might be needed to create a big hole in the atrial septum to permit blood to mix.
A surgery called an arterial switch procedure is used to completely correct the issue within the baby’s first week of life. This surgery changes the great arteries back to the normal position and keeps the coronary arteries connected to the aorta. Prior to the development of this surgery, a surgery called an atrial switch (or Mustard procedure or Senning procedure) was used. There are still many people alive who had this surgery.
The child’s symptoms will enhance after surgery to remedy the flaw. The majority of infants who undergo arterial switch do not have symptoms after surgery and live normal lives. If corrective surgery is not carried out, the life expectancy is just months.
Transposition of the great vessels complications might consist of:
- Coronary artery issues.
- Heart valve problems.
- Irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias).
When to Contact a Medical Professional
This condition can be diagnosed before birth using a fetal echocardiogram. If not, it is usually identified soon after a baby is born.
Go to the emergency clinic or call the local emergency situation number (such as 911) if your baby’s skin develops a bluish color, particularly in the face or trunk.
Call your supplier if your baby has this condition and new symptoms establish, become worse, or continue after treatment.
Transposition of the Great Vessels Prevention
Women who plan to become pregnant must be vaccinated against rubella if they are not currently immune. Consuming well, quit alcohol, and managing diabetes both prior to and during pregnancy might be practical.
Alternative Names: Transposition of the great arteries; TGA; d-TGA; Congenital heart flaw – transposition; Cyanotic heart disease – transposition; Birth problem – transposition.
Image of Transposition of the great vessels from childrenshospital.org
Last modified: October 12, 2017