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Pediatr Cardiol. 2009 Apr;30(3):359-62. doi: 10.1007/s00246-008-9314-0. Epub 2008 Oct 16.

Reversed differential cyanosis in the newborn: a clinical finding in the supracardiac total anomalous pulmonary venous connection.

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Department of Pediatrics, St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center, Phoenix, AZ, USA.


The newborn can experience two types of differential cyanosis (DC). The common type of DC occurs when oxygen saturation in the right hand is greater than in the foot. The second type of DC, reversed differential cyanosis (RDC), occurs when oxygen saturation is lower in the right hand than in the foot. This phenomenon is observed in transposition of the great arteries (TGA) with patent ductus arteriosis (PDA) and elevated pulmonary vascular resistance or in TGA with PDA and preductal aortic interruption or coarctation. This report describes a case of RDC not previously described involving an infant with supracardiac total anomalous pulmonary venous connection (TAPVC). In supracardiac TAPVC, RDC results from streaming of highly saturated superior vena cava (SVC) blood into the right ventricle, out the main pulmonary artery, through a PDA, and to the descending aorta, with streaming of more desaturated blood from the inferior vena cava (IVC) into the left atrium across the atrial septal defect (ASD)/foramen ovale. Therefore, as part of a neonatal examination to rule out congenital heart disease (CHD), simultaneous pre- and postductal oxygen saturations should be documented. The presence of RDC should initiate immediate full cardiac evaluation for CHD. Supracardiac TAPVC should be included in the differential diagnosis if RDC is observed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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