This is a complex malformation where only one artery arises from the heart and forms the aorta and pulmonary artery. Surgery for this condition usually is required early in life. It includes closing a large ventricular septal defect within the heart, detaching the pulmonary arteries from the large common artery, and connecting the pulmonary arteries to the right ventricle with a tube graft. Children with truncus arteriosus need lifelong follow-up to see how well the heart is working.
People with truncus arteriosus, before and after treatment, are at risk for getting an infection on the heart's walls or valves (endocarditis). To help prevent this, they'll need to take antibiotics before certain dental and surgical procedures.