A heart defect that features four problems. It may be seen more commonly in children with Down syndrome or DiGeorge syndrome. Some children can have other heart defects along with tetralogy of Fallot. How does it affect the heart?

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A heart defect that features four problems. It may be seen more commonly in children with Down syndrome or DiGeorge syndrome. Some children can have other heart defects along with tetralogy of Fallot. How does it affect the heart?

In a child with tetralogy of Fallot, blood can travel across the hole VSD from the right pumping chamber right ventricle to the left pumping chamber left ventricle and out into the body artery aorta.

Obstruction in the pulmonary valve leading from the right ventricle to the lung artery prevents the normal amount of blood from being pumped to the lungs. Sometimes the pulmonary valve is completely obstructed pulmonary atresia.

How does tetralogy of Fallot affect my child? Infants and young children with unrepaired tetralogy of Fallot are often blue cyanotic. The reason is that some oxygen-poor blood is pumped to the body through the hole in the wall between the right and left ventricle instead of being pumped to the lungs.

What can be done about tetralogy of Fallot? Tetralogy of Fallot is treated surgically. A temporary operation may be done at first if the baby is small or if there are other problems. Complete repair comes later. Sometimes the first operation is a complete repair. Temporary Operation In some infants, a shunt operation may be done first to provide adequate blood flow to the lungs. The shunt is usually a small tube of synthetic material sewn between a body artery or the aorta and the pulmonary artery.

The shunt is closed when a complete repair is done later. Complete Repair Complete repair tends to be done early in life. The surgeon closes the ventricular septal defect with a patch and opens the right ventricular outflow tract by removing some thickened muscle below the pulmonary valve, repairing or removing the obstructed pulmonary valve and, if needed, enlarging the branch pulmonary arteries that go to each lung. Sometimes a tube is placed between the right ventricle and the pulmonary artery.

This is sometimes called a Rastelli repair. Your child may need to limit physical activity, particularly for competitive sports, if there is leftover obstruction or leak in the pulmonary valve, which is common after repair. Children with decreased heart function or rhythm disturbances may need to limit their activity more. What will my child need in the future? If your child has had tetralogy of Fallot repaired, he or she will need regular follow-up with a pediatric cardiologist.

Some long-term problems can include leftover or worsening obstruction between the right pumping chamber and the lung arteries. Children with repaired tetralogy of Fallot have a higher risk of heart rhythm disturbances called arrhythmias.

Sometimes these may cause dizziness or fainting. Generally, the long-term outlook is good, but some children may need medicines, heart catheterization or even more surgery.

What about preventing endocarditis? Children with tetralogy of Fallot are at increased risk for endocarditis. Some children, including those have had a valve replacement, still have a shunt or have leaks around surgical patches, and need to take antibiotics before certain dental procedures to help prevent endocarditis.

More information for adults with Tetralogy of Fallot What causes it?



Adult defects Symptoms Tetralogy of Fallot symptoms vary, depending on the extent of obstruction of blood flow out of the right ventricle and into the lungs. Signs and symptoms may include: A bluish coloration of the skin caused by blood low in oxygen cyanosis Shortness of breath and rapid breathing, especially during feeding or exercise Loss of consciousness fainting Clubbing of fingers and toes — an abnormal, rounded shape of the nail bed Poor weight gain Tiring easily during play or exercise Irritability A heart murmur Tet spells Sometimes, babies who have tetralogy of Fallot will suddenly develop deep blue skin, nails and lips after crying or feeding, or when agitated. These episodes are called tet spells and are caused by a rapid drop in the amount of oxygen in the blood. Tet spells are most common in young infants, around 2 to 4 months old.

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Tétralogie de Fallot



Tetralogy of Fallot


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