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Partial anomalous pulmonary venous connection

David R Fulton, MD
Brian Soriano, MD
Section Editor
John K Triedman, MD
Deputy Editor
Carrie Armsby, MD, MPH


Partial anomalous pulmonary venous connection (PAPVC), also known as partial anomalous pulmonary venous return, encompasses a specific group of congenital cardiovascular anomalies that are caused by the abnormal return of one or more, but not all, of the pulmonary veins directly to the right atrium or indirectly through a variety of venous connections from the anomalous pulmonary vein.

The anatomic abnormalities that result in PAPVC and the diagnosis and management of PAPVC will be reviewed here. Total anomalous pulmonary venous connection (TAPVC) is discussed separately. (See "Total anomalous pulmonary venous connection".)


The overall incidence of PAPVC is estimated to be 0.7 percent of the population [1]. However, as this rate is based upon autopsy data, the true prevalence of PAPVC may actually be higher [2-5]. Multiple case series report PAPVC as an incidental finding, which in most of these instances is asymptomatic.

Although PAPVC can present as an isolated structural abnormality, it commonly occurs with other cardiac abnormalities, most often an atrial septal defect. In addition, patients with Turner syndrome are at increased risk for PAPVC [6,7]. (See "Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of Turner syndrome".)


There is a wide range of pulmonary vein arrangements that return blood from the lung to the heart.

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Nov 10, 2017.
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