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What is Ebstein’s Anomaly?

Ebstein’s anomaly is a very rare congenital heart defect. Babies with Ebstein's anomaly have a tricuspid valve that did not form correctly. 

The tricuspid valve is one of the valves that prevents blood from flowing backwards while it is being pumped into the lungs. In Ebstein’s anomaly, the tricuspid valve is usually unable to prevent blood from being pumped backwards. This is called “valve regurgitation.” This problem can also reduce the size of the chamber (right ventricle) that pumps the blue (oxygen-poor) blood to the lungs.

This condition is also called Ebstein’s malformation of the tricuspid valve. Doctors do not know what causes this heart defect.

Ebstein’s Anomaly in Children

Ebstein’s anomaly ranges in how serious it can be. For some newborns, it is a life-threatening problem. For others, it has very little effect.

Ebstein’s anomaly includes problems such as: 

  • Having a blue complexion from getting too little oxygen in the blood (cyanosis)
  • Getting tired easily
  • The heart beating too fast (supraventricular tachycardia

Ebstein’s Anomaly at Seattle Children’s

Our heart team has treated many children with Ebstein’s anomaly. We have extensive experience with the treatment these patients may require, including medicines or surgery. 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 Seattle Children’s, a team of people will take care of your child. Along with your child’s heart doctor (cardiologist), you are connected with newborn specialists (neonatologists), lung doctors (pulmonologists), nurses, 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.

Children’s has been treating children since 1907. Our team members are trained in their fields and in meeting the unique needs of children. For example, the doctors who give your child anesthesia (sedation) 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.  

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

Contact Us

Contact the Heart Center at 206-987-2015 for a cardiac referral, a second opinion or more information.

Who Treats This at Seattle Children's?

Should your child see a doctor?

Find out by selecting your child’s symptom or health condition in the list below:

Summer 2014: Good Growing Newsletter

In This Issue

  • Understanding the Power and Influence of Role Models
  • Legal Marijuana Means Greater Poisoning Risks for Children
  • Why Choose Pediatric Emergency Care?

Download Summer 2014 (PDF)