Total Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Connection

What is Total Anomalous Pulmonary Venous Connection?

The total anomalous pulmonary venous connection comprises of a birth malformation of flow of blood where the four pulmonary veins filter into the right atrium with or without the obstruction of pulmonary veins. Pulmonary and systemic blood of veins gets mixed together in the right atrium. The four veins that carry blood from lungs to the heart do not really attach themselves casually towards the left atrium, but instead to some wrong part of the heart.

It is an uncommon defect of a congenital nature that represents 2% of congenital anomalies of the heart. The veins link themselves to the left atrium or the heart by means of an unusual connection.


The symptoms of the disease are:

  • Common infections in the respiratory system.
  • Extreme exhaustion.
  • Inadequate growth.
  • Rapid breathing.
  • Cyanosis - Discolouration of the skin.
  • Extreme sleepiness.
  • A weak pulse.


The causes of total anomalous pulmonary venous connection among many babies remain unknown. Some of the probable causes include:

  • Changes in the chromosomes.
  • Fusion of some genes.
  • Environment, diet, and medicines taken by the mother of the baby.


Major complications might include:

  • Failure of the heart.
  • Difficulties with breathing.
  • Arrhythmias or fast rhythms of the heart.
  • Infection with the lungs.
  • Pulmonary hypertension.


No prevention measures for this disease have been found out so far, but it will be beneficial if somebody upon facing the symptoms, starts acting on it and consults a doctor for the right kind of treatment.

How is it diagnosed?

At Medanta, there is a chance that this disease may get diagnosed at the time of pregnancy tests, but usually, the defects of the heart get detected after the baby is born. Important tests may incl...

How is it treated?

At Medanta, our doctors may employ several methods to treat the disease, which may vary on a case-to-case basis.


  • Surgery

    Any baby with this defect may need a surgery to correct the condition. The extent of the sickness of the child or a particular structure of connections between the right atrium and the pulmonary veins shall determine the age of the baby at which the surgery needs to be performed. The purpose of surgical correction is to maintain the normal flow of blood to the heart. To correct it, experts will link the pulmonary vein and the right atrium, and will dismiss any unusual connections between blood vessels, and will simultaneously close the defect.

When do I contact the doctor?

Generally, the disease is diagnosed while running the pregnancy test or when the baby is born. However, you should consult a doctor, if you notice the symptoms such as infections in the respiratory system, fatigue, inadequate growth, rapid breathing, discolouration of the skin, etc. 

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