Fallots Tetralogy

  • The combination of a VSD with Pulmonary Stenosis, with the Aorta "Overriding" (sitting 'astride') the VSD and with Right Ventricle 'Hypertrophy' (thickening of the muscle) is termed "Tetralogy of Fallot". The obstruction to flow into the lungs leads to blood being diverted through the VSD to the aorta. Flow in the lung circulation is reduced and the child appears 'Blue' (Cyanosed).

    Affected infants are often relatively free of symptoms in the early weeks of life. Cyanosis (Blueness) gradually appears, sometimes with a tendency to intermittent severe exacerbations ("Spells"). A heart murmur is usually heard early in infancy (even before symptoms develop).

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    Surgery is required during infancy or early childhood. If severe symptoms develop in the first few months the baby may require early surgery (a so-called 'Shunt' operation). This involves insertion of a tiny piece of artificial tube (made from Goretex) between the Aorta, or a branch (usually one of the arm arteries), and one of the branch Pulmonary Arteries (LPA or RPA). Corrective surgery is carried out at around six months.

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