Single Ventricle Clinical Presentation

Updated: Aug 09, 2018
  • Author: Alvin J Chin, MD; Chief Editor: Howard S Weber, MD, FSCAI  more...
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History and Physical Examination


Neonates with single ventricle and severe pulmonary outflow tract obstruction become cyanotic but are usually without other symptoms. Neonates with single ventricle and systemic outflow tract or aortic arch obstruction may have rapid breathing, lethargy, and poor feeding.

Physical examination

Note the following:

  • Cyanosis is present in patients with severe pulmonary outflow tract stenosis.

  • Poor peripheral perfusion is evident in patients with single ventricle with severe systemic outflow tract or aortic obstruction.

  • If aortic obstruction involves coarctation or interruption, then a difference in blood pressure is observed between the right arm and a lower extremity, unless the right subclavian artery is aberrant.

  • The first heart sound is normal.

  • The second heart sound is frequently single.

  • A systolic ejection murmur is present in those with pulmonary or systemic outflow tract stenosis.