Double outlet right ventricle
(DORV) is a type of congenital heart malformation. This means it is present from birth.
In this condition, the heart and the main blood vessels leaving the heart do not develop
the right way. This can cause symptoms in your child.
A normal heart has 4 chambers: 2
upper chambers (atria) and 2 lower chambers (ventricles). Blood flows from the right
atrium into the right ventricle and from the left atrium into the left ventricle. There
is a wall (called the septum) between the ventricles and between the atria. It stops
blood from flowing between the left and the right sides of the heart.
In a child with DORV, both the
pulmonary artery and the aorta are connected to the same heart chamber, the right
ventricle. In a normal heart, the aorta connects to the left
ventricle, the ventricle that pumps blood to the body. The pulmonary artery normally
connects to the right ventricle, the ventricle that pumps blood to the lungs. In
DORV, these great arteries may be connected either partly or fully. There is
also almost always an opening in the wall between the left and right ventricles. This
opening is called a ventricular septal defect.
In many cases, DORV occurs with
other heart malformations. For example, a heart valve may not work right. Or a ventricle
may not be fully formed. DORV actually refers to a range of heart problems that share a
common feature. With all of them, both great arteries are connected to the right
ventricle. Depending on the exact nature of the DORV, the lungs might not get enough
blood flow. Or they might get too much.
Only a small number of newborns
have heart malformations. Of these, DORV is relatively rare.