Ebstein’s Anomaly—Child

(Ebstein’s Malformation—Child; Anomaly, Ebstein’s—Child; Malformation, Ebstein’s—Child)


Ebstein’s anomaly is a rare heart defect. In a normal heart, the blood flows in from the body to the right atrium. It then goes into the right ventricle. Next, the blood travels to the lungs through the pulmonary valve. Here, it picks up fresh oxygen. The blood returns to the left atrium and goes into the left ventricle. The blood moves out to the rest of the body.This defect occurs when the tricuspid valve develops lower than normal in the right ventricle. Also, the valve does not open and close normally. This allows blood to leak in the wrong direction. Ebstein’s anomaly can be mild to severe.
Heart Chambers and Valves
heart anatomy
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Blood Flow Through the Heart
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.


Ebstein's anomaly is present at birth. It is not known exactly why the heart does not develop normally.

Risk Factors

Specific risk factors for Ebstein’s anomaly are not clear. Two possible risk factors include:
  • Chromosomal abnormalities
  • Environmental exposure


Symptoms vary depending on how severe the defect is. In some cases, there may not be any symptoms. In other cases, symptoms may include:
  • Swelling in the abdomen and legs
  • Blue or pale skin color
  • Rapid heart beat or skipped heart beats
  • Decreased energy
  • Failure-to-thrive or gain weight as normal
  • Shortness of breath

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