In this section
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
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).
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.