A normal heart has two smaller upper chambers called atria and two larger lower chambers called ventricles. It has four valves, one at the entrance to each chamber. They stop the blood flowing backwards and keep the blood moving forwards through the heart. The left side of the heart receives oxygen-rich blood from the pulmonary veins. The heart then pumps it through the aorta
and around the body . The right side of the heart receives blood that has used up its oxygen, so the blood is pumped to the lungs through the pulmonary artery
to replenish its supply. Blood is then pumped to the heart's left side, where the cycle begins again.
What is a double inlet right ventricle?
Double inlet right ventricle is a complex abnormality, where both of the heart's atria connect to the right ventricle. The left atrium communicated with the right ventricle by way of an opening low in the atrial septum and there was a large ventricular septal defect
. The pulmonary trunk and aorta took their origin from the right and hypoplastic left ventricles respectively
A child may be born without a second ventricle or it may be underdeveloped. Soon after birth, babies with this condition appear quite blue in colour. They may also experience shortness of breath
and be unable to put on weight.
With this defect, babies often suffer from other abnormalities of the heart or main arteries, such as pulmonary stenosis
, pulmonary atresia
or coarctation of the aorta. Immediate surgery may be needed, as these conditions could severely block the blood flow in the lungs or to the rest of the body.