Single Ventricle Defects | Testing and Diagnosis

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Contact the Complex Biventricular Repair Program

How are single ventricle defects diagnosed?

If your newborn has symptoms of a single ventricle defect, your pediatrician will refer you to a pediatric cardiologist (heart doctor). The cardiologist will do an overall exam, listen to your baby’s heart and lungs and measure the oxygen level in his or her blood.

Your cardiologist will also listen for a heart murmur — a noise heard through the stethoscope that’s caused by the turbulence of blood flow. The location in the chest where the murmur is best heard, as well as the sound and character of the murmur itself, will give the cardiologist an idea of the kind of heart problem your baby may have.

Sometimes heart defects are diagnosed before a baby is born. This can happen if your clinician suspects a congenital heart defect after a routine prenatal ultrasound or notices other signs of a problem. If this occurs, your clinician may order a cardiac ultrasound (echocardiogram) of the baby to look for a heart defect.

What tests will my child need?

Your child may need one or more of the following tests to help diagnose a single ventricle defect:

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