Truncus Arteriosus

National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

Skip to the navigation

It is possible that the main title of the report Truncus Arteriosus is not the name you expected.

Disorder Subdivisions

  • None

General Discussion

Truncus arteriosus is a rare type of heart disease that is present at birth (congenital) in which there is a single main blood vessel, rather than the normal two, carrying blood away from the heart. Instead of having a separate pulmonary artery, to carry blood to the lungs, and aorta, to carry blood to the rest of the body, a baby with truncus arteriosus has just one blood vessel leaving the heart which then branches into other blood vessels. Blood from both ventricles of the heart is mixed, resulting in a situation in which some oxygen-rich blood travels needlessly back to the lungs and some oxygen-poor blood travels to the rest of the body. Babies with this condition may have a bluish tint (cyanosis) to their skin, lips, and fingernails. In most cases, truncus arteriosus occurs in conjunction with a missing upper portion of the wall between the ventricles of the heart (ventricular septal defect).

Supporting Organizations

Adult Congenital Heart Association

3300 Henry Avenue, Suite 112
Philadelphia, PA 19129
Tel: (215)849-1260
Fax: (215)849-1261
Tel: (888)921-2242

American Heart Association

7272 Greenville Avenue
Dallas, TX 75231
Tel: (214)784-7212
Fax: (214)784-1307
Tel: (800)242-8721

Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center

PO Box 8126
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
Tel: (301)251-4925
Fax: (301)251-4911
Tel: (888)205-2311

NIH/National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute

P.O. Box 30105
Bethesda, MD 20892-0105
Tel: (301)592-8573
Fax: (301)251-1223

For a Complete Report

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). For a full-text version of this report, go to and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".

The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only.

It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report.

This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.

Last Updated:  7/23/2007
Copyright  2007 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.