The most common symptoms of truncus arteriosus are:
- cyanosis (a blueish cast to the skin)
- a pallid complexion
- rapid heart rate and breathing
Who is affected by truncus arteriosus?
It is a rare heart disorder that affects fewer than 1 in 10,000 children and both genders are affected equally. It may be related to chromosome abnormalities such as DiGeorge syndrome, also known as 22q11 deletion.
Truncus arteriosus is diagnosed via echocardiogram, either prenatally or during the first few hours of life. This is usually sufficient to mean that further diagnosis and tests are not required.
It is repaired during prenatal surgery, during which the two circulations are separated and a conduit inserted into the pulmonary artery. The ventricular septal defect will also be closed.
Most children who undergo surgery recover and go on to develop normally.
In some cases further procedures may be necessary once the child reaches adulthood.