Truncus Arteriosus (or Common Arterial Trunk)

Surgery will be needed before the increased pressure damages the lungs (pulmonary vascular disease).  This will be open heart surgery.  The heart will need to be stopped and opened to repair it.  This means that a machine will have to take over the job that the heart and lungs normally do – the heart bypass machine. 

Surgery may involve placing a donor lung artery from the right ventricle to the branch lung arteries, and a plastic patch is usually used to close the hole (VSD). There is no risk of rejecting the donor lung artery, since it is not living blood vessel.

The truncus will now act as the aorta, carrying red blood from the left ventricle to the body. Surgeries will need to be repeated as your child grows.

The more complicated types of truncus arteriosus may be treated with a Fontan operation.

More about Truncus Arteriosus (or Common Arterial Trunk)

Author(s): Children’s Heart Federation
Last updated: 2012-06-14