The definition of single ventricle can mean a ventricle that is hypoplastic, too small, or completely absent. Either the right or left ventricle may be affected. There may also be other cardiac anomalies present. Infants with a single ventricle develop distress after birth when the ductus arteriosus and foramen ovale close. This may happen within hours or days of delivery. The severity of symptoms is determined by the degree of defect. But, single ventricle patients will not survive without treatment. Patients with only one functioning ventricle can usually expect either a heart transplant or a series of palliative surgeries or sometimes both. Their care is very complex requiring a team of dedicated practitioners to manage drug therapy, medical support and surgery.
At Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston, it is standard of care for a patient with a single ventricle heart to undergo many non-invasive imaging studies and sometimes invasive studies such as heart catheterization. Results of the studies provide valuable information used for treatment decisions and evaluation of heart function. We propose to do a retrospective chart review of patient data including a review of their invasive and non-invasive studies.