Potential complications of transposition of the great arteries include:

  • Lack of oxygen to tissues. Your baby's tissues will receive too little oxygen, (hypoxia). Unless there's some mixing of oxygen-rich blood and oxygen-poor blood within your baby's body, he or she won't be able to survive.
  • Heart failure. Heart failure — a condition in which the heart can't pump enough blood to meet the body's needs — may develop over time because the right ventricle is pumping under higher pressure than usual. This added stress may make the muscle of the right ventricle stiff or weak.
  • Lung damage. The lack of oxygenated blood causes damage to the lungs, making breathing difficult.

Surgery is required for all babies with transposition of the great arteries early in life, usually within the first week. Complications of surgery to correct transposition of the great arteries may occur later in life, including:

  • Narrowing of the arteries that supply blood to the heart (coronary arteries)
  • Heart rhythm abnormalities (arrhythmias)
  • Heart muscle weakness or stiffness leading to heart failure
  • Leaky heart valves
Aug. 10, 2012

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