Systemic-to-pulmonary shunt

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]



A systemic-to-pulmonary shunt is a cardiac shunt which allows, or is designed to cause, blood to flow from the systemic circulation to the pulmonary circulation. This occurs when:

  1. there is a passage between two or more of the great vessels; and,
  2. systemic pressure is higher than pulmonic pressure and/or the shunt has a one-way valvular opening.

A systemic-to-pulmonary shunt functions as follows:

  1. left-to-right in the absence of arterioventricular discordance.
  2. right-to-left if the great vessels are transposed.



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