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Hello everyone. Three months ago I gave a birth to this lovely baby girl Emina. But during whole my pregnancy I had problems with her and with my health generally. and after I gave a birth to her we were one month more in the hospital. Unfortunately my little angel was diagnosed with truncus arteriosus and she is almost every day at the doctor's. I want to know how dangerous this is because I am really scared. Also, I want to ask you one more question - how common is truncus arteriosus among newborn babies? Let me know. Thank you. 

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Hello Boyen.

I am really sorry to hear this, but also I admire you because I can see that you are a huge fighter. I don’t know but I believe that it is not that common. Truncus arteriosus is actually a congenital heart defect – your baby is born with it, and in this case there is only one main artery or large blood vessel that carries blood to the body and lungs, instead of two separate arteries. The condition occurs in the womb, while the fetus’s heart is still developing. Now, during the normal development of the heart and circulatory system, the single large vessel , that is also called the truncus arteriosus,  divides into two vessels: the aorta and the pulmonary artery.

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Hello. Eric D, thank you so much for your quick response. I have to tell you that this was exactly what I was scared about, and I don't know what to do. I know that I do not understand this disease so well and that I believe that this could be fatal. My baby is not in pain, I can see that because she eats well, she sleeps well, so I suppose that the treatment that her doctor prescribed to her is OK. But what about some possible complications? I mean, are there some of them? I really don't know what I can expect in the future from this disease. I am so scared and worried.

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Hi Boyen,

I did some research on the internet for you and I found out that truncus arteriosus represents 1-2% of congenital heart defects in liveborn infants. Based on an estimated incidence of congenital heart disease of 6-8 per 1,000 liveborn children, truncus arteriosus occurs in approximately 5-15 of 100,000 live births. Among aborted fetuses and stillborn infants with cardiovascular anomalies, truncus arteriosus represents almost 5% of defects.

In children who are left undiagnosed and untreated, this condition means certain death in the first 3 months of the baby's life, but when it is treated, there are high chances that your baby is going to live a healthy life.

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Unfortunately, if your baby hasn't been treated for this, there are 100% chances that she is going to die in the first 3 months time (mortality rate in untreated patients is 100%). Because the ventricles aren't separated and all blood exits from a single vessel, the oxygen-rich blood and the oxygen-poor blood mix together — resulting in blood that doesn't carry enough oxygen. The mixed blood flows from the single large vessel to the lungs, the arteries of the heart and the rest of the body. At least your baby got diagnosed with it so she is going to have a proper treatment done.

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Hi everyone,

I'm afraid that even with successful surgical repair of the heart during infancy, other complications associated with truncus arteriosus may occur later in life:

  • Progressive pulmonary hypertension
  • Leaky heart valves (regurgitation)
  • Heart rhythm disturbances (arrhythmias)

 

Common signs and symptoms of these complications include shortness of breath when exercising, dizziness, fatigue and a sensation of rapid, fluttering heartbeats (palpitations). It is a very dangerous condition, as you could have concluded for yourself, and you and your baby are at least lucky that she has been diagnosed with it this early. She needs an immediate surgery and more surgeries in the future.

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Hello everyone.

It is not that common. Actually, truncus arteriosus or TA shortly is an uncommon congenital cardiovascular anomaly. This anomaly is usually characterized by a single arterial trunk arising from the normally formed ventricles by means of a single semilunar valve. Now, the pulmonary arteries originate from the common arterial trunk distal to the coronary arteries and proximal to the first brachiocephalic branch of the aortic arch. The most common trunk typically straddles a defect in the outlet portion of the interventricular septum, but  in rare cases, it may originate almost completely from the right or left ventricle. So, no, it is not that common in newborn babies and I am sorry because you have problems with it :/

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