Pediatric TAPVR care in Denver and the Rocky Mountain region

Total anomalous pulmonary venous return (TAPVR) is a congenital abnormality of the heart that develops in the first eight weeks of pregnancy. TAPVR requires surgical intervention, and the pediatric cardiac care  and congenital heart disease teams at Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children (RMHC) in Denver are expertly equipped to treat this condition in infants.

To find a RMHC pediatric heart surgeon specialized in TAPVR, please call (720) 754-7642.

TAPVR makes up about one to two percent of all cases of congenital heart abnormalities, and it occurs equally in boys and in girls.

What is TAPVR?

In babies with TAPVR, the blood vessels that bring oxygen-rich (red) blood back to the heart from the lungs are not connected correctly. Usually, oxygen-poor blood (blue) travels from the right ventricle of the heart to the pulmonary artery into the lungs. The blood receives oxygen in the lungs, then the oxygen-rich blood is pumped back to the left ventricle through four pulmonary veins. However, with TAPVR, the four pulmonary veins connect somewhere other than the left ventricle. This type of connection in the veins does not allow oxygen-rich blood to be pumped to the body.

Other heart abnormalities are often associated with TAPVR, which helps the baby receive some oxygen-rich blood until surgical intervention can be provided.

An opening in the atrial or ventricular septum, called an atrial septal defect, will allow blood from one side of the heart to mix with blood from another. Patent ductus arteriosus will also allow mixing of oxygen-poor (blue) and oxygen-rich (red) blood through an improper connection between the aorta and pulmonary artery. These conditions allow “purple” blood, or a mix of red and blue blood, to be circulated through the body.