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Signs & Symptoms Heart & Vascular

Ebstein Anomaly
Signs and Symptoms

Ebstein anomaly usually consists of the valve being displaced downward into the ventricle. The three flaps, or leaflets, that make up the valve opening are malformed or absent. This results in blood leaking back into the atrium. In addition to the valve malformation, this condition also often includes:

  • Enlarged right heart chambers
  • Atrial septal defect, a hole between the atrial chambers, in about half of patients
  • Irregular heart rhythm or arrhythmia

Babies born with Ebstein anomaly usually are treated surgically in infancy so most adults with the condition only have mild symptoms. Often, when Ebstein anomaly is first detected during adulthood, the condition is mild. More severe complications can result in heart failure and in cyanosis, in which the skin takes on a bluish tint due to a lack of oxygen. An adult may experience difficulty breathing, have problems with exercise, chest pain and fainting spells.

UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.