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What is Tetralogy of Fallot?

Omid Hajiseyed Javadi, MD
Thoracic Surgery (Cardiothoracic Vascular)
Tetralogy of Fallot is a congenital condition that must be treated in infancy. Watch as thoracic surgeon Omid Javadi, MD, of Good Samaritan Hospital, describes the disease and how it affects a baby's heart functioning. 

Tetralogy of Fallot is the most common cyanotic defect. A cyanotic defect is a conditions in which the heart delivers less oxygen to the body than normal. This complex congenital condition consists of four developmental defects that require surgical correction early in childhood.

Tetralogy of Fallot is a heart defect present at birth that causes oxygen-poor blood to be circulated to the body instead of oxygen-rich blood, leading to a blue baby (“cyanosis”) and inadequate oxygen reaching the body. Tetralogy of Fallot consists of:
1) A hole between the bottom two heart chambers, called a ventricular septal defect.
 2) Blocked or reduced blood flow from the lower right heart chamber to the lungs as a result of a narrowed muscle tissue below the pulmonary valve, as well as a small pulmonary valve. When the valve is narrowed but still open, this condition is known as pulmonary stenosis. If the pulmonary valve is completely blocked, it is called pulmonary atresia. The arteries to the lungs may be affected as well.
3) Tetralogy of Fallot frequently occurs with other types of congenital heart defects.
With time, the pulmonary stenosis worsens and there is progressively less oxygen-containing blood reaching the body. Without surgical intervention, children with tetralogy of Fallot are unlikely to reach adulthood.
 
Tetralogy of Fallot is a serious heart birth defect involving four different heart issues occurring at the same time. This combination limits the amount of blood that goes to the lungs to get oxygen and accordingly the rest of the body. Treatment usually involves surgery.

Yuli Y. Kim, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF) refers to 4 heart defects. The aorta opens to both of the lower heart chambers above a large hole called a ventricular septal defect (VSD). In addition, there is narrowing under or at the pulmonary vale (pulmonary stenosis) and thickening (enlargement) of the right lower chamber.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.