UMEM Educational Pearls

Cyanotic (right to left shunt) Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) lesions can be easily remembered with the 1,2,3,4,5 method.

1- Truncus Arteriosis (ONE trunk)

2- Transposition of the Great Vessels (TWO vessels flipped)

3- TRIcuspid Atresia

4-TETRAlogy of Fallot

5- Total Anomolous Pulmonary Venous Return (TAPVR=5 words/letters)

A few other important DUCTAL-DEPENDENT lesions: Coarctation of the Aorta, Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, and Pulmonary Atresia.

Patients present to the emergency department within the first week of life in severe distress, including hypoxia, tachypnea, and hypotension.  The above cyanotic CHD all reflect DUCTAL-DEPENDENT lesions, meaning they need a widely open PDA (which closes in the first week of life) to maintain sufficient oxygenation for viability.

These patients will not survive without timely intervention with prostaglandin (PGE1), so be sure to initiate this life-saving medication as soon as possible!  Side effects include apnea…be prepared to intubate your neonate!