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Transposition of the great vessels

Transposition of the great vessels

Overview

Transposition of the great vessels is a congenital heart defect in which the position of the two major vessels that carry blood away from the heart - the aorta and the pulmonary artery - is switched (transposed). This defect is classified as a cyanotic heart defect because the condition results in insufficiently oxygenated blood pumped to the body which leads to cyanosis (a bluish-purple coloration to the skin) and shortness of breath.

Update Date 10/22/2015

Updated by: Larry A. Weinrauch, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Cardiovascular Disease and Clinical Outcomes Research, Watertown, MA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.