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There are many ways you can help children and their families get the care they need.
At Boston Children's Hospital, we understand that the first step in treating your child is forming an accurate, complete and timely diagnosis.
If your newborn baby was born with a bluish tint to her skin, or if your young child is experiencing certain symptoms, your pediatrician will immediately refer you to a pediatric cardiologist (and/or neonatologist), who will perform a physical exam. Your child’s doctor will listen to your baby’s heart and lungs, measure the oxygen level in her blood (non-invasively) and make other observations that help to determine the diagnosis.
Your child’s cardiologist will also investigate whether she has a heart murmur—a noise heard through the stethoscope that’s caused by the turbulence of blood flow. If there’s a murmur, the location in the chest where the murmur is best heard, as well as the sound and character of the murmur itself, gives the cardiologist a better sense of the kind of heart problem your baby may have.
Note: If your child’s truncus arteriosus was detected prenatally through ultrasound, upon birth she’ll be immediately admitted for stabilization and surgery.
Some or all of the following tests may be used to confirm a diagnosis of truncus arteriosus and its related defects, and to provide detailed information on the shape and condition of your baby’s heart:
Note: If, during your pregnancy, a routine prenatal ultrasound or other signs raise your obstetrician’s suspicion of a congenital heart defect in the fetus, a cardiac ultrasound (described in the paragraph above) of the baby in utero will usually be the next step. The cardiac ultrasound (fetal echocardiogram)—focusing exclusively on the baby’s heart—can detect many congenital heart defects.
Tests to monitor the condition of the truncal (aortic) valve and the conduit repair over time can include:
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We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”