Managing Transposition of the Great Arteries

The Cardiac Center at CHOP is happy to provide several resources to assist healthcare professionals in managing patients carrying fetuses with suspected transposition of the great arteries (TGA).

What TGA looks like in the fetus

Approximately 1,200 new cases of TGA are diagnosed in the United States each year. TGA is a challenging anomaly and although it is the second most common type of congenital heart defect in the newborn, it is one of the most commonly missed in utero diagnoses. Prenatal (before birth) diagnosis of TGA is invaluable, as it allows effective planning for delivery and postnatal treatment of this congenital heart defect.

In this video, Jack Rychik MD, director of the Fetal Heart Program, demonstrates how to accurately identify TGA in the fetus through ultrasound.

Optimal delivery for TGA patients

Transposition of the great arteries is unpredictable. At least one-third of newborns with the condition will require urgent intervention within hours of birth. The balloon septostomy procedure used to treat TGA was developed at CHOP.

Our facilities, including our new Special Delivery Unit, a state-of-the-art labor and delivery unit that offers comprehensive care in one location for mothers carrying babies with known birth defects, are located directly adjacent to our Cardiac Operative and Imaging Complex and allow immediate access to the high-level specialized care many neonates with TGA require. This unique structure provides the ideal setting for delivery of babies with TGA.

TGA treatment

Surgery to treat TGA is complex and requires a highly experienced team, from prenatal management to surgery and intensive care. TGA outcomes are best at centers that treat a high volume of TGA cases, such as the Cardiac Center at CHOP, where volumes and outcomes are among the best.

In this video, Peter Gruber, MD, PhD, presents some brief video excerpts from the arterial switch operation for TGA treatment.

We also invite you to learn more about the Fetal Heart Program and the entire Cardiac Center. If you have questions about TGA diagnosis and treatment or about our services, please call us at 215-590-5647.

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