Truncus Arteriosus | Symptoms and Causes

What are the symptoms of truncus arteriosus?

The most common symptoms of truncus arteriosus include:

  • fatigue
  • sweating
  • pale or cool skin
  • rapid or heavy breathing
  • rapid heart rate
  • congested breathing
  • disinterest in feeding, or tiring while feeding
  • poor weight gain
  • cyanosis (blue color of the skin, lips and nail beds)

What causes truncus arteriosus?

The heart forms during the first eight weeks of fetal development. The problem occurs at the midpoint of this time, when the aorta and the pulmonary artery don’t divide to form two separate vessels, but rather, remain as a single vessel. It isn’t entirely clear what causes congenital heart malformations, including truncus arteriosus, although in most cases it appears that some combination of genetics and environmental factors is involved.

Truncus arteriosus and some other cyanotic congenital heart defects are sometimes associated with chromosomal disorders.