Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Incidence Symptoms Treatment Underlying Cause Anatomy

Tetralogy of Fallot Overview

What is Tetralogy of Fallot?
Tetralogy of Fallot is a birth defect that results in abnormal blood flow through the heart. Tetralogy of Fallot has four key features: 1) a ventricular septal defect, which is a hole in the wall that separates the ventricles; 2) pulmonary stenosis, which is an obstruction in blood flow from the right ventricle to the lungs; 3) an overriding aorta, in which the opening to the aorta communicates with the ventricular septal defect; and 4) right ventricular hypertrophy, which is a thickened and enlarged right ventricle. The abnormal blood flow results in low oxygen levels in the bloodstream.

What are the symptoms of Tetralogy of Fallot?
The most common symptom of Tetralogy of Fallot is cyanosis: the lips, nails or skin become blue, caused by low oxygen levels in the bloodstream. Additional symptoms include fussiness and difficulty breathing.

How does the doctor treat Tetralogy of Fallot?
Treatment for Tetralogy of Fallot includes multiple surgical procedures to correct the heart defects.

Continue to Tetralogy of Fallot Incidence

Last Updated: Feb 11, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Tetralogy of Fallot References
  1. Bernasconi A, Goo HW, Yoo SJ. Double-barrelled aorta with tetralogy of Fallot and pulmonary atresia. Cardiol Young. 2007 Feb;17(1):98-101. Epub 2006 Dec 22. [17184561]
  2. Derby CD, Pizarro C. Routine primary repair of tetralogy of Fallot in the neonate. Expert Rev Cardiovasc Ther. 2005 Sep;3(5):857-63. [16181030]
  3. Ferguson EC, Krishnamurthy R, Oldham SA. Classic imaging signs of congenital cardiovascular abnormalities. Radiographics. 2007 Sep-Oct;27(5):1323-34. [17848694]
  4. Gregg D, Foster E. Pulmonary insufficiency is the nexus of late complications in tetralogy of Fallot. Curr Cardiol Rep. 2007 Jul;9(4):315-22. [17601398]
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