Ebstein's anomaly is a rare congenital (present at birth) defect
in the right side of the heart. The cause
More to Know
Someone with Ebstein's anomaly has a malformed (not formed correctly) and improperly
positioned tricuspid valve. The tricuspid valve separates the two chambers on the
right side of the heart. In a person with Ebstein's anomaly, the valve doesn't close
properly, which causes blood to leak back from the lower chamber (ventricle)
to the upper chamber (atrium). This disrupts blood
flow and makes the heart work inefficiently, which can lead to enlargement of the
right atrium, insufficient red blood supply to the body, or heart failure.
Ebstein's anomaly varies in severity from person to person. A newborn showing signs
of the condition may be seriously ill and need surgery while someone whose symptoms
don't appear until adulthood may not need any treatment.
Signs and symptoms of Ebstein's anomaly include shortness of breath, fatigue, rapid
breathing, failure to grow, swelling in the legs, and a bluish skin color around the
lips and nails. The condition is often associated with other heart defects, such as
atrial septal defect (ASD), pulmonary (valve)
stenosis, and abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias).
Keep in Mind
The long-term outlook for people with Ebstein's anomaly varies greatly, but with
treatment and close monitoring by a cardiologist, most people with the disorder can
go on to live healthy and productive lives.
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