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What Is Double Outlet Right Ventricle?

Double outlet right ventricle is a rare birth defect.

In double outlet right ventricle, both of the heart's "outlets" – the aorta and the pulmonary artery – exit from the right ventricle.

In a normal heart, the aorta leaves the left ventricle, carrying oxygen-rich (red) blood to the body, and the pulmonary artery leaves the right ventricle, carrying oxygen-poor (blue) blood to the lungs.

Many kinds of heart defects fall into the category of double outlet right ventricle. They all share the feature that the aorta and pulmonary artery both exit from the right ventricle; besides this, other parts of the heart may be different.

In double outlet right ventricle, there is almost always a hole in the septum, or wall, between the right and left ventricles called a ventricular septal defect. Some children also have a hole in the septum between the right and left atria called atrial septal defect or they have other defects, like pulmonary stenosis, aortic stenosiscoarctation of the aorta, mitral valve abnormalities or pulmonary atresia.

Double Outlet Right Ventricle in Children

This is a congenital defect. Doctors do not know why it happens. They think it occurs early in the pregnancy, when the baby’s heart is forming.

About one in every 10,000 babies has double outlet right ventricle.

Double Outlet Right Ventricle at Seattle Children’s

Our heart team has treated many children with double outlet right ventricle. We have extensive experience with the surgery these patients require. We also have a pediatric cardiac anesthesia team and a cardiac intensive care unit ready to care for children who undergo heart surgery.

When you come to Children's, a team of people will take care of your child. Along with your child's cardiologist, you are connected with surgeons, cardiac intensive care unit doctors, cardiac anesthesiologists, neonatologists, nurses, cardiac sonographers, dietitians, child life specialists, social workers and others, if their expertise is needed. We work together to meet all of your child's health needs and help your family through this experience.

Since 1907, Children's has been treating children only. Our team members are trained in their fields and also in meeting the unique needs of children. For example, the doctors who give your child anesthesia are board certified in pediatric anesthesiology. This means they have extra years of training in how to take care of kids. Our child life specialists know how to help children understand their illnesses and treatments in ways that make sense for their age. Our expertise in pediatrics truly makes a difference for our patients and families.

The Adult Congenital Heart Disease Program shared by Children’s and the University of Washington can help with care throughout your child’s life.

Who Treats This at Seattle Children's?

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Spring 2014: Good Growing Newsletter

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