Truncus Arteriosus

What is truncus arteriosus?

Truncus arteriosus is a condition where the aorta and the pulmonary artery (the two main arteries that normally exit the heart) are fused into one large vessel. Truncus arteriosus occurs in less than one per 10,000 live births.

How is this condition managed during pregnancy?

When truncus arteriosus is suspected, further evaluation includes a specialized evaluation of the fetal heart (fetal echocardiogram). As truncus arteriosus is frequently associated with other physical abnormalities and genetic syndromes, genetic counseling and testing are recommended. Prenatal consultations with pediatric cardiology, pediatric cardiothoracic surgery, and neonatology specialists are recommended to discuss the prognosis and management after birth. Prenatal care will be managed by a maternal-fetal medicine specialist, an obstetrician with special training and expertise in high-risk pregnancies.

How is this condition managed after delivery?

Newborns will be evaluated and cared for by a team involving pediatric cardiology and neonatology specialists. Outcomes vary widely based upon severity of the condition.