Tricuspid Atresia

What is Tricuspid Atresia?

Tricuspid atresia is defined as a congenital heart defect whereby there is a complete absence of the tricuspid valve. Therefore, there is an absence of right atrioventricular connection. This leads to a hypoplastic (undersized) or absent right ventricle. Irrespective of the gender, it occurs equally both in boys and girls. In a normal condition, the tricuspid valve is positioned on the right side of the heart, whereas in the babies affected with this disease, there is no tricuspid valve at all, and the right ventricle is small. The filtering away of blue blood is not any big problem until the baby with tricuspid atresia is inside the mother’s womb. The baby will find way to pass oxygen to the lungs, provided by the mother. But once the baby is born, the levels of oxygen are lower than usual, and the fingernails and lips of the baby begin to turn blue. It becomes quite difficult for the baby to create a pathway to carry oxygen to the lungs. The disease occurs in quite rare cases, affecting 3-5 in some 20,000 births.


The babies with this defect start showing symptoms at the time of birth. The symptoms include:

  • Cyanosis: Unusual discoloration of skin.
  • Trouble in breathing.
  • Tiring easily.
  • Poor weight gain and slow growth.
  • Flared nostrils.
  • Excessive weight gain due to fluid retention.
  • Excessive swelling in feet and legs.


As it is a congenital heart disease, the reasons for the development of such defect are unknown.


Major risk factors are:

  • Mother suffers viral infection such as rubella at the time of pregnancy.
  • One of the parents has congenital heart defect.
  • Down Syndrome.
  • Mother is diabetic.
  • Certain medications at the time of pregnancy.
  • Mother smokes or consumes alcohol during pregnancy.
  • Mother has lupus, an autoimmune disorder.


To prevent development of defect in your child you need to follow certain steps for a healthy pregnancy:

  • Avoid smoking and drinking during pregnancy.
  • Avoid exposure to chemicals.
  • Talk about the medications with your doctor.
  • Take adequate amount of folic acid.

How is it diagnosed?

The disease can be diagnosed through prenatal diagnosis, some medical tests, and physical examinations. At Medanta, following methods can be used to identify the defect.


How is it treated?

It is a major heart anomaly that may require more than one procedure. The specialists at Medanta may employ the following surgical procedures:


  • Atrial septostomy

     This procedure enlarges the opening between the heart’s upper chambers to allow more blood flow.

  • Shunting

    Under this procedure a bypass or shunt is created from the main blood vessel leading out of the heart to the pulmonary artery, allowing adequate blood flow to the lungs.

  • Pulmonary artery band placement

     In this procedure, the surgeon may place a band around the pulmonary artery to reduce the flow of blood through it.

When do I contact the doctor?

The defect is diagnosed in the first complete examination of the baby. But, if you observe symptoms like breathlessness or discolouration, you need to seek medical help as early as possible to know the possible cause.

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How does Medanta provide care?


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