Difference Between Double Outlet Right Ventricle and Double Inlet Left Ventricle

NewsGuard 100/100 Score

Both double outlet right ventricle (DORV) and double inlet left ventricle (DILV) are congenital heart defects that create the phenomenon of a single ventricle. This means that the heart, which normally has two distinct pumping chambers (i.e., right and left ventricles) has only one functional chamber.

DORV and DILV belong to a family of other single ventricle defects, such as hypoplastic left heart syndrome and tricuspid atresia. Moreover, conditions such as pulmonary atresia and particular forms of atrioventricular canal defects may also create the conditions found in a single ventricular heart.

Normally, the right ventricle, which is the lower right chamber of the heart, receives oxygen-poor blood from the right atrium returning from the rest of the body. The right ventricle pumps the blood it receives under low pressure via the pulmonary artery into the lungs. The left ventricle is the corresponding lower left chamber of the heart that receives oxygen-rich blood from the left atrium returning from the lungs. This blood is then pumped by the left ventricle under high pressure to the rest of the body via the aorta.

In DORV, the great arteries (i.e., pulmonary artery and the aorta) both exit from the right ventricle and patients typically have an accompanying ventricular septal defect (VSD). In contrast, patients with DILV have the positions of the great arteries reversed and both of the atria empty into an unusually large left ventricle. Moreover, the right ventricle in DILV is frequently found to be small and there may be both VSDs as well as atrial septal defects (ASDs) present.

DORV and DILV Clinical Presentation

DORV and DILV have a fairly similar clinical picture to what is seen in other congenital heart diseases that tend to develop within the first few weeks of life. Infants may appear bluish (i.e. cyanosis) due to the low levels of blood oxygen saturation. These infants may also show signs of being easily fatigued with difficulties in breathing and gaining weight as well as poor feeding and a general failure in their ability to thrive. Unusual heart sounds referred to as murmurs may be heard on auscultation of the patients.

A key determinant to the spectrum of symptoms that a patient will experience is the degree of pulmonary stenosis that is present. This complication determines how soon a patient will present with symptoms. Patients with severe narrowing of the pulmonary vessel will experience cyanosis due to an insufficient amount of blood being pumped into the lungs. On the other hand, congestive heart failure is seen in patients who have an excessive amount of blood under high pressure being pumped into the lungs.

Management of DORV and DILV

In both cases, surgery is the only option. In DORV, pulmonary artery banding may be done to limit the amount of blood being pumped to the lungs if it is excessive. In cases where blood flow to the lungs is inefficient, a Modified Blalock-Taussig Shunt can be surgically inserted. This shunt creates a passage for blood between the aorta and the pulmonary artery. Infants with a VSD may require open-heart surgery to close the defect. Patients who have more complicated defects may require a Fontan operation, where there the circulatory system and heart is reconfigured to allow for the heart to function with one ventricle. Similar surgical approaches are used in DILV.

Further Reading

Last Updated: Feb 26, 2019

Dr. Damien Jonas Wilson

Written by

Dr. Damien Jonas Wilson

Dr. Damien Jonas Wilson is a medical doctor from St. Martin in the Caribbean. He was awarded his Medical Degree (MD) from the University of Zagreb Teaching Hospital. His training in general medicine and surgery compliments his degree in biomolecular engineering (BASc.Eng.) from Utrecht, the Netherlands. During this degree, he completed a dissertation in the field of oncology at the Harvard Medical School/ Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Wilson currently works in the UK as a medical practitioner.


Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    Wilson, Damien Jonas. (2019, February 26). Difference Between Double Outlet Right Ventricle and Double Inlet Left Ventricle. News-Medical. Retrieved on May 28, 2024 from https://www.news-medical.net/health/Difference-Between-Double-Outlet-Right-Ventricle-and-Double-Inlet-Left-Ventricle.aspx.

  • MLA

    Wilson, Damien Jonas. "Difference Between Double Outlet Right Ventricle and Double Inlet Left Ventricle". News-Medical. 28 May 2024. <https://www.news-medical.net/health/Difference-Between-Double-Outlet-Right-Ventricle-and-Double-Inlet-Left-Ventricle.aspx>.

  • Chicago

    Wilson, Damien Jonas. "Difference Between Double Outlet Right Ventricle and Double Inlet Left Ventricle". News-Medical. https://www.news-medical.net/health/Difference-Between-Double-Outlet-Right-Ventricle-and-Double-Inlet-Left-Ventricle.aspx. (accessed May 28, 2024).

  • Harvard

    Wilson, Damien Jonas. 2019. Difference Between Double Outlet Right Ventricle and Double Inlet Left Ventricle. News-Medical, viewed 28 May 2024, https://www.news-medical.net/health/Difference-Between-Double-Outlet-Right-Ventricle-and-Double-Inlet-Left-Ventricle.aspx.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
Post a new comment

While we only use edited and approved content for Azthena answers, it may on occasions provide incorrect responses. Please confirm any data provided with the related suppliers or authors. We do not provide medical advice, if you search for medical information you must always consult a medical professional before acting on any information provided.

Your questions, but not your email details will be shared with OpenAI and retained for 30 days in accordance with their privacy principles.

Please do not ask questions that use sensitive or confidential information.

Read the full Terms & Conditions.