Causes of the Common Arterial Trunk – What is the Arterial trunk? - Health Tips Star – Best Information Healthcare

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Saturday, April 27, 2019

Causes of the Common Arterial Trunk – What is the Arterial trunk?

Arterial Trunk

A Common arterial trunk is a solitary trunk that exits the heart through a common ventriculo-arterial junction and supplies directly the systemic, pulmonary, and coronary arterial pathways.

The common arterial trunk appears during fetal growth, when the baby's heart is in development. Therefore, this condition is present at the time of birth.

The common arterial trunk or Truncus arteriosus is a congenital malformation in which a single artery is born from the heart and it does not have well-formed ventricles and atria. It is a relatively rare cardiac anomaly, with an incidence of 0.21-0.34% of patients born with a congenital heart anomaly and accounting for approximately 2-3% of patients registered in a pediatric cardiac surgery unit.

In other words, the common arterial trunk is an affectation of the heart in which a person has a large artery instead of the two separated ones to carry the blood to the lungs and to the body.

Causes of the Common Arterial Trunk
In a normal heart, blood follows this cycle: body-heart-lungs-heart-body. When a person has a common arterial trunk, the blood that leaves the heart does not follow this normal cycle.

In these cases, the heart does not have 4 compartments separated correctly but only has a cavity. In this way, there are no atria or ventricles that separate the blood according to its origin and destination. There is only one common artery and there is no specific route for blood rich in carbon dioxide or other blood oxygenated.


The common arterial trunk appears during fetal growth, when the baby's heart is in development. Therefore, this condition is present at the time of birth, that is, we are talking about a congenital problem.

Nowadays, in most cases the cause that triggers this heart problem is not known. However, several factors that can increase the risk of common arterial trunk are known, including:

• A family history of congenital heart problems.
• Children with chromosome problems, velocardiofacial syndrome or DiGeorge syndrome may have
a higher risk of developing truncus arteriosus.
• Pregnant women who take certain medications during pregnancy that can harm the fetus.
• Women who get viral diseases such as rubella may be more likely to give birth to a baby with a
truncus arteriosus.

What are the symptoms?
Each patient may experience symptoms differently. However, there are a number of common symptoms that babies affected by this disease can share. These most common signs are:

• Cyanosis: the skin becomes a blue-purple tone.
• Fatigue.
• Sweat.
• Cold skin.
• Accelerated and difficult breathing.
• Accelerated heart rate.
• Respiratory congestion
• Lack of appetite.

All of these symptoms may be common to other medical conditions or other heart problems. Therefore, it is very important to consult the doctor in the event that your child presents one of those mentioned in the list.

How can it be diagnosed?
Doctors can usually diagnose this anomaly before the baby is born. For this, they use a fetal echocardiogram. This technique uses sound waves to create an image of the heart in motion.


Thanks to this, you can see the appearance of the heart and examine its functioning when they are still in the womb. With the information obtained, doctors schedule how to treat the baby immediately after birth.
On the other hand, there is also the pulse oximetry test. It is a simple test that measures the amount of oxygen present in the bloodstream. You can give the first clue that there is a heart problem.

Treatment of the common arterial trunk
As data, studies of the natural history of the common arterial trunk suggest a 50% mortality during the first month of life. With this, survival to the first year of life of 10-25%.

In addition, the great majority of patients who survive over a year of life suffer from severe pulmonary vascular disease, often irreversible. Regarding treatment, babies need to undergo open heart surgery in order to prevent possible complications. This operation is usually carried out in the first month of life.

During the operation, the aorta and pulmonary arteries are separated creating a pathway for blood to travel from the right ventricle to the lungs. The interventricular communication and any other cardiac anomaly that has been detected will be corrected at the same time.
If this problem is not corrected by the operation, most babies die. However, surgery is usually effective.

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