Cyanotic defects are defects in which blood pumped to the body contains less-than-normal amounts of oxygen, resulting in a condition called cyanosis. It causes a blue discoloration of the skin. Infants with cyanosis are often called "blue babies."
Some of the problems that cause too little blood to pass through the lungs include the following:
Tricuspid atresia. In this condition, there is no tricuspid valve, therefore, no blood flows from the right atrium to the right ventricle. Tricuspid atresia defect is characterized by the following:
A small right ventricle
A large left ventricle
Diminished pulmonary circulation
Cyanosis. A bluish color of the skin and mucous membranes caused from a lack of oxygen.
A surgical shunting procedure is often necessary to increase the blood flow to the lungs.
Transposition of the great arteries (TGA). With this congenital heart defect, the positions of the pulmonary artery and the aorta are reversed, thus:
The aorta originates from the right ventricle, so most of the blood returning to the heart from the body is pumped back out without first going to the lungs.
The pulmonary artery originates from the left ventricle, so that most of the blood returning from the lungs goes back to the lungs again.
Immediate medical intervention is necessary to correct this condition.
Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF). This condition is characterized by the following four defects:
An abnormal opening, or ventricular septal defect, that allows blood to pass from the right ventricle to the left ventricle without going through the lungs
A narrowing (stenosis) at or just beneath the pulmonary valve that partially blocks the flow of blood from the right side of the heart to the lungs
The right ventricle is more muscular than normal and often enlarged
The aorta lies directly over the ventricular septal defect
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