Transposition Of The Great Vessels

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Definition

Transposition of the great vessels or TGV involves an abnormal spatial arrangement of the primary blood vessels including the superior and/or inferior vena cavae (SVC,IVC), pulmonary artery, pulmonary veins, and aorta. It also belongs to a group of congenital heart defects (CHDs) involving only the primary arteries, belonging to a sub-group called the transposition of the great arteries.

Diagnosis

Congenital heart defects as well as heart problems that may develop later in childhood are taken care of and diagnosed by pediatric cardiologists or neonatologists. One major indication of that there is a problem with a newborn is cyanosis. Physicians may also note of a heart murmur during a physical examination. Other diagnostic tests may include chest x-ray, ECG or EKG, echocardiogram, and cardiac catheterization.

Treatment

Babies are immediately given prostaglandin through an intravenous line (IV). The medicine helps blood flow through the lungs and body. Some cases may require surgery shortly after birth to temporarily adjust the affected blood vessels. Some hospitals perform an arterial switch procedure to permanently correct the problem.

Symptoms and Signs

Some of the symptoms that would indicate the need for surgery include blue or gray skin, lips, and nail beds (cyanosis), difficulty in breathing, problems with heart rate or rhythm, and excessive workload on heart that interferes with breathing, feeding, or sleeping.

Causes

Like most congenital heart diseases, the cause of TGA is unknown though there are factors associated with a higher than normal rate of the disease. Said factors include rubella or other viral illnesses of the mother during pregnancy, poor nutrition of the mother during pregnancy, alcoholism, mother's age over 40, and diabetes.

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