Search our website Find job opportunies at THI and St. Luke's Find a doctor location and contact information
About UsPatient CareHeart information Center EducationResearchSupport The Texas Heart Institute
Heart Information Center
 
Transposition of the Great Arteries
  Back to previous page
  En espa�ol

Aneurysms and Dissections
Angina
Arrhythmia
Bundle Branch Block
Cardiac Syndrome X
Cardiomyopathy
Carotid Artery Disease
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Congenital Heart Disease
Coronary Artery Anomalies
Coronary Artery Disease
Coronary Artery Spasm
Diabetes
Diastolic Dysfunction
Heart Attack
Heart Conditions
Heart Failure
Heart Murmurs
High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)
Infective Endocarditis
Kawasaki Disease
Long Q-T Syndrome
Marfan Syndrome
Metabolic Syndrome
Mitral Valve Prolapse
Myocardial Bridge
Myocarditis
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Pericarditis
Peripheral Vascular Disease
Rheumatic Fever
Sick Sinus Syndrome
Silent Ischemia
Stroke
Sudden Cardiac Arrest
Valve Disease
Vulnerable Plaque
Transposition of the Great Arteries
| Share

The "great arteries" are the pulmonary artery and the aorta. Normally, the pulmonary artery is connected to the heart's lower-right chamber (the right ventricle). The right ventricle pumps oxygen-poor blood into the pulmonary artery, which carries that blood into the lungs. The lower-left chamber (the left ventricle) pumps oxygen-rich blood into the aorta, which carries that blood to the rest of the body.

Illustration showing transposition of the great arteries.In transposition of the great arteries, the normal position of the arteries is reversed. The aorta comes out of the right ventricle (instead of the left), and the pulmonary artery comes out of the left ventricle (instead of the right). That means oxygen-rich blood returns to the lungs while oxygen-poor blood gets carried to the rest of the body.

How is it treated?

A newborn baby may be given medicine called prostaglandin to keep the ductus arteriosus open. The ductus normally begins to close soon after birth, but keeping it open will allow some oxygen-rich blood to reach the body.

If the baby is not born with another defect that lets some oxygen-rich blood move through the body, doctors will actually create a defect called an atrial septal defect. In a procedure called balloon septostomy, a balloon-tipped catheter is used to create a hole in the wall that separates the right and left atria.

The medicines and the balloon septostomy are only short-term solutions, but they allow the body to get some oxygen-rich blood until surgery can be performed to correct the transposition.

The most common surgery for transposition of the great arteries can be performed within the first month of life. It is called an arterial switch and reverses the positions of the arteries, so that the pulmonary artery is connected to the right ventricle, and the aorta is connected to the left ventricle.

Return to main topic: Congenital Heart Disease

See on other sites:

MedlinePlus
www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001568.htm
Transposition of the great vessels

American Heart Association
www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/CongenitalHeartDefects/
AboutCongenitalHeartDefects/I-transposition-of-the-great-arteries_UCM_307031_Article.jsp
 
l-Transposition of the great arteries

www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/CongenitalHeartDefects/
AboutCongenitalHeartDefects/d-Transposition-of-the-great-arteries_UCM_307024_Article.jsp
  
d-Transposition of the great arteries

Texas Adult Congenital Heart Center (TACH)
www.bcm.edu/healthcare/care-centers/congenital-heart
This Baylor College of Medicine program enables patients with congenital heart disease to receive a seamless continuation of care from birth to old age. 


Updated August 2014
Top  
Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Subscribe to us on YouTube Find Us on Flicikr Follow Us on Pinterest Add us on Google+ Find us on LinkedIn

Please contact our Webmaster with questions or comments.
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy
© Copyright 1996-2014 Texas Heart Institute.
All rights reserved.
This website is accredited by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify. U.S. NEWS America's Best Hospitals 2013-14