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Total anomalous pulmonary venous return is a structural problem with the heart that causes oxygen-poor blood. It is a type of congenital heart defect, which means it develops before a baby is born.
With this defect, all the pulmonary veins from the lungs do not connect with the left side of the heart as they should. Instead, they connect to veins or structures that drain into the right side of the heart. This results in oxygen-rich blood flowing back into the right side of the heart.
The left side of the heart and the body get some oxygen-rich blood because of other defects that are usually present, including:
Surgery is needed to correct the defect.
Last Revised: October 11, 2011
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: John Pope, MD - Pediatrics & Larry A. Latson, MD - Pediatric Cardiology
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