Children's Hospital Colorado
Heart

Truncus Arteriosus

We see more, treat more and heal more kids than any other hospital in the region.

Best Children's Hospital by U.S. News & World Report Cardiology 2021-2 Badge

Next Steps

Would you like to learn more about us?
Heart Institute
Ready to schedule an appointment?
Schedule online
Do you have questions about your child’s condition?
Call

What is truncus arteriosus?

Truncus arteriosus is a rare type of congenital birth defect in which the two major arteries of the heart (the aorta and the pulmonary artery) fail to separate during development. Instead, there is only one large vessel coming from the heart.

The valve arising from the single blood vessel, called the truncal valve, is often abnormal. The valve can be thickened and narrowed which can block the blood as it leaves the heart. The truncal valve can also leak, causing blood that leaves the heart to leak back into the heart across the valve.

The large artery, known as the truncus arteriosus, has one valve that carries blood from both ventricles. Almost every child with this heart condition will also have a hole between the ventricles, known as a ventricular septal defect (VSD). This condition results in too much blood going to the lungs and can result in irreversible damage to the heart and the arteries of the lungs.

Who is at risk for truncus arteriosus?

Truncus arteriosus is a congenital heart defect, meaning it develops as a child is growing in the womb. While doctors do not know exactly what causes truncus arteriosus, there are several common risk factors that may increase the chances of a baby being born with a heart condition.

Prenatal diagnosis is important, as babies with truncus arteriosus may have additional organ or chromosomal abnormalities such as DiGeorge syndrome, also known as 22q11.2 Deletion Syndrome. This and other genetic syndromes require specialized treatment from the experts at the Colorado Fetal Care Center and Children's Hospital Colorado.

Next steps

Get to know our pediatric experts.

Farhouch Berdjis, MD

Farhouch Berdjis, MD

Cardiology - Pediatric

Michael Di Maria, MD

Michael Di Maria, MD

Cardiology - Pediatric, Pediatrics

Carly Scahill, DO

Carly Scahill, DO

Cardiology - Pediatric, Pediatrics

Patient ratings and reviews are not available Why?

Kacee Logsdon, DNP

Kacee Logsdon, DNP

Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

Patient ratings and reviews are not available Why?