Transpositon of the Great Arteries (TGA)


What is transposition of the great arteries (TGA)?

Transposition of the great arteries (TGA) is a complex congenital heart defect in which the two large arteries that carry blood out of the heart are connected to the heart abnormally:

  • The aorta is attached to the right-sided pumping chamber (ventricle), instead of the      left.
  • The pulmonary artery is attached to the left-sided pumping chamber(ventricle), instead of the right.

Normally, blood flows in this pattern: body » right side of heart » lungs » left side of heart » back to body. The pulmonary artery carries blood from the right side of the heart to the lungs, and the aorta carries blood from the left side of the heart to the body. In children with TGA, the normal pattern of flow does not exist, and the body doesn’t get enough oxygenated blood.

What are the symptoms of TGA?

The symptoms of TGA include:

  • Blue or purple tint to lips, skin and nails (cyanosis)
  • Rapid breathing
  • Difficulty feeding; poor appetite and poor weight gain