How is truncus arteriosus diagnosed?

The pediatrician will ask if you have noticed any changes in your child’s feeding and sleeping behaviors. The doctor will measure your child’s height, weight, and head circumference to see if there has been any delay in development.

The doctor will perform a physical examination and listen to the child’s lungs and heart. If the doctor detects a heart murmur (an unusual heart sound) or irregular heartbeat, or the presence of fluid in the lungs, he or she may order additional tests, including:

  • Chest X-ray
  • Electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG): This test measures the electrical activity of the heart to detect whether there is any stress on the heart muscle.
  • Echocardiogram: A procedure that uses sound waves to produce a moving picture of the heart and heart valves to see the heart "in action."
  • Cardiac catheterization: A procedure in which a small, flexible tube is inserted into the body through the groin and passed through to the inside of the heart. Contrast dye may be used to provide a more detailed picture of the heart.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): A test that produces very clear pictures, or images, of the human body without the use of x-rays. MRI uses a large magnet, radio waves, and a computer to produce these images.
  • Computed tomography (CT) scan: Uses X-rays and computers to produce images of a cross-section of the body. The patient must lie as still as possible as the table moves through the large, donut-shaped scanning device.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 01/29/2011.

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy