What is Tetralogy of Fallot?


A congenital heart defect is a problem with the heart’s structure that’s present in the slightest. This type of heart defect alters the normal flow of blood through the heart. Tetralogy of Fallot is a rare, complex heart defect that occurs in approximately 5 out of every 10,000 babies. It affects boys and girls alike. Tetralogy of Fallot entails four heart defects:

Pulmonary (PULL-mon-ary) stenosis.
Ventricular Septal Defect
The center has a wall that divides the two chambers on the left side by both chambers onto its correct side. This wall is called a septum. The septum prevents blood from mixing between the two sides of their heart. A VSD is a hole at the component of the septum that separates the ventricles, the lower chambers of the heart. The hole enables oxygen-rich blood from the left ventricle to mix with oxygen-poor blood from the ideal ventricle.

Pulmonary Stenosis
This flaw is a narrowing of the nasal valve as well as the passage through which blood flows from the perfect ventricle into the pulmonary artery. Usually, oxygen-poor blood from the ideal ventricle flows through the pulmonary valve, into the pulmonary artery , and outside to the lungs to pick up oxygen. In pulmonary stenosis, the heart has to work harder than normal to pump blood, and not enough blood reaches the lungs.

Right Ventricular Hypertrophy
This flaw occurs in case the right ventricle thickens because the heart must pump harder than it must move blood through the narrowed pulmonary valve.

Overriding Aorta
This is a defect in the aorta, the major artery that carries oxygen-rich blood to the body. In a healthy heart, the aorta is attached to the left ventricle. This allows merely oxygen-rich blood to flow to your system. In tetralogy of Fallot, the aorta is between the left and right ventricles, right over the VSD. Because of this, oxygen-poor blood in the right ventricle flows directly into the aorta instead of into the pulmonary artery to the lungs. Collectively, these four defects mean that insufficient blood is able to get to the lungs to get oxygen, and oxygen-poor blood flows from the body.

Normal Heart and Heart With Tetralogy of Fallot
Figure A displays the arrangement and blood flow in the interior of a normal heart. Figure B shows a heart with the four defects of tetralogy of Fallot. Infants and children that have tetralogy of Fallot have episodes of cyanosis (si-a-NO-sis). This really is really a bluish tint to the skin, lips, and fingernails.


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