Posted by: Jacqui | 2003/12/14

Interrupted Aortic Arch


My son was born on 25th October by emergency C-Section as he went into distress two weeks before his due date. All was fine until he'd been home for a little over a week and almost stopped breathing so had to be rushed to icu. It turns out he had two holes in his heart as well as a complete interrupted aortic arch (it just wasn't joined to anything, like a dead end road0. They operated on him when he was 12 days old but didn't survive when they tried to close his chest 5 days after the op.

My question is, is this condiition a genetic problem and what are our chances it will happen again in a second pregnancy? My husbands father has had 2 heart by-passes in his 50's due to blocked arteries and his brother had a floppy heart valve which was only discovered recently but has been corrected with medication which he no longer has to take. My husband is 100% fine though and so am i.

If this is a problem that is likely to occur again with us, is there anything taht can be done to perhaps eliminate the gene that is causing it?

We are really concerned about our chances of losing another baby and would appreciate your assistance in this regard.

Thanks very much and i look forward to your earliest reply


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Our expert says:
Expert ImageGeneticist

Dear Jacqui

I was sorry to learn about the loss of your little son. The condition is not a simple genetic disorder and the chances of recurrence in any of your future pregnancies are less than one in forty.

Genetic manipulation is not feasible, but antenatal diagnosis of congenital heart abnormalities in the unborn child can be achieved by means of ultrasonic investigations during pregnancy. In these circumstances, it is essential that you inform the ultrasonologist that the foetal heart needs to be specially checked.

In response to you second question, aortic arch interruption or coarctation is caused by faulty foetal development in the first few weeks after conception.

Kind Regards, Maritha

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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