What is Tetralogy of Fallot?
Tetralogy of Fallot is a congenital heart defect that is characterized by a combination of four heart defects: Ventricular Septal Defect, Pulmonary Valve Stenosis, Right Heart Enlargement and the aorta growing from both ventricles instead of only from the left ventricle (left lower heart chamber). These defects lead to mixture of the oxygen-rich and oxygen-poor blood, result in poorly oxygenated blood being delivered to the rest of the body. Babies with tetralogy of fallot may experience intermittent episodes of extreme cyanosis (blue colored skin) during crying and feeding. These cyanotic attacks are serious and can be life-threatening. With early diagnosis and treatment, most children suffering from this condition are able to lead normal lives although they require regular medical care and have restrictions on exercise.
Signs and symptoms of Tetralogy of Fallot may include:
- Distorted vision
- Have a blue or purple discoloration of the skin and mucous membranes due to lack of oxygen (cyanosis)
- Poor weight gain
- Prolonged crying
- Seeing spots or floaters in the field of vision
- Shortness of breath, especially during feeding
The cause of Tetralogy of Fallot is not known or still under medical review.
The risk of Tetralogy of Fallot increases when you/your:
- Were born to a mother who consumed alcohol during pregnancy
- Were born to a mother who suffered from malnutrition during pregnancy
- Were born to a mother who was 40 years and older during pregnancy
Tetralogy of Fallot may result in the following complications:
- Lead to premature death
No specific prevention guideline exists for Tetralogy of Fallot at this moment.
Treatments and management of Tetralogy of Fallot may vary depending on the individual patient and the severity of the medical condition. Treatment options may include:
- Intracardiac Repair