Single ventricle anomalies are rare heart conditions that can happen in a growing fetus. In a normal heart, the two ventricles work by collecting blood and pumping it to the lungs or the rest of the body. With this condition, one of the ventricles does not develop properly. The defect can be mild to severe. Other heart problems may also be present.
Examples of single ventricle anomalies are:
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These problems are caused by congenital defects. This means that the problem develops in the womb and a baby is born with it. It is not known exactly why this happens.
Specific risk factors are often unclear, but they may be:
Problems may be:
The doctor will ask about your child’s symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done. It will focus on the heart. This problem may be suspected if the doctor hears a heart murmur.
Blood tests will be done.
Images may be taken of your child's body. This can be done with:
Your child's heart function may be tested. This can be done with:
The goal of treatment is to improve heart function and blood flow. Choices are:
Children with severe problems may need a heart transplant.
Lifelong heart monitoring will be needed after treatment.
There are no known guidelines to prevent this heart problem.
American Heart Association
Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians
Canadian Cardiovascular Society
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada
Rao PS. Consensus on timing of intervention for common congenital heart diseases: part II - cyanotic heart defects. Indian J Pediatr. 2013 Aug;80(8):663-674.
Single ventricle anomalies and Fontan circulation. Cincinnati Children’s Hospital website. Available at: http://www.cincinnatichildrens.org/health/info/heart/diagnose/sv.htm. Accessed March 10, 2021.
Single ventricle defects. American Heart Association website. Available at: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/CongenitalHeartDefects/AboutCongenitalHeartDefects/Single-Ventricle-Defects_UCM_307037_Article.jsp. Accessed March 10, 2021.
Single ventricle heart defects. Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia website. Available at: http://www.chop.edu/service/cardiac-center/heart-conditions/single-ventricle.html#treatment. Accessed March 10, 2021.
Tricuspid atresia. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/tricuspid-atresia. Accessed March 10, 2021.
Last reviewed December 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Kari Kassir, MD Last Updated: 3/10/2021