Total anomalous pulmonary venous return (TAPVR) is a congenital heart
defect. This means that your child is born with it. It happens as the baby’s heart
develops during the first 8 weeks of pregnancy.
In this condition, the 4 blood
vessels (pulmonary veins) that carry oxygen-rich (red) blood to the heart from the lungs
aren’t connected correctly. Normally these blood vessels should be connected to left
upper chamber (atrium) of the heart. Instead they’re connected somewhere else.
There are different types of TAPVR. The type your child has depends on where the pulmonary veins are connected.
This condition causes oxygen-rich
blood from the lungs to mix with oxygen-poor (blue) blood from the body. This keeps
oxygen-rich blood from being carried all over the body. Your child can't live with TAPVR
long-term. He or she needs oxygen-rich blood all over the body.
Other heart defects often occur with TAPVR. They actually help infants have enough oxygen in their blood until they can have surgery. These other defects include:
Atrial septal defect. In this condition, an opening is
between the 2 upper chambers of the heart (atrial septum). This causes oxygen-poor
and oxygen-rich blood to be mixed.
arteriosus (PDA). The ductus arteriosus is a blood vessel that carries blood
away from the heart in a developing baby. It often closes soon after birth. If it
stays open, it’s called a PDA. Sometimes it stays open with TAPVR. This causes
oxygen-poor and oxygen-rich blood to be mixed.
Single ventricle. In this condition,
there is only 1 ventricle instead of the normal 2.