Persistent Common Arterial Trunk in an Adult Presenting in the Emergency Room as Severely Decompensated Heart Failure

DOI: 10.1515/jce-2017-0018


Truncus arteriosus (TA) or common arterial trunk is a rare malformation, accounting for 0.21 to 0.34% of congenital heart diseases, which, if left untreated, leads to increased mortality rates. The condition is characterized by the presence of a unique arterial trunk that overrides the interventricular septum. Despite an overall poor outcome, few subjects present in emergency settings with signs suggestive for pulmonary arterial hypoplasia and associated heart failure. We report the case of a 31-year-old female patient who had been previously diagnosed with pulmonary atresia and severe scoliosis as an infant, presenting in the emergency department with clinical sings of decompensated heart failure which were demonstrated to be attributable to the severe cyanogenic heart malformation and were reversible after initiation of appropriate therapeutic measures.