Tricuspid atresia

Tricuspid atresia is a heart defect present at birth (congenital) in which one of the valves (tricuspid valve) between two of the heart's chambers isn't formed. Instead, there's solid tissue between the chambers.

If your baby is born with tricuspid atresia, blood can't flow through the heart and into the lungs to pick up oxygen as it normally would. The result is the lungs can't supply the rest of your baby's body with the oxygen it needs. Babies with tricuspid atresia tire easily, are often short of breath and have blue-tinged skin.

Tricuspid atresia is treated with surgery. Most babies with tricuspid atresia who have surgery will live well into adulthood, though follow-up surgeries are often needed.

Symptoms Causes Risk factors Complications Prevention

Tricuspid atresia symptoms become evident soon after birth, and can include:

  • Blue tinge to the skin and lips (cyanosis)
  • Difficulty breathing (dyspnea)
  • Tiring easily, especially during feedings
  • Slow growth

Some babies with tricuspid atresia may also develop symptoms of heart failure, including:

  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Swelling (edema) in the legs, ankles and feet
  • Swelling of the abdomen (ascites)
  • Sudden weight gain from fluid retention
  • Irregular or rapid heartbeat

When to see a doctor

Tell your doctor if you notice any of the above symptoms in your child.

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