QS Study

Tetralogy of Fallot is a group of cardiac defects. It is a rare situation caused by a combination of four heart defects that are present at birth (congenital).

It consists of –

  1. Pulmonary stenosis – It is a narrowing of the pulmonary valve — the valve that separates the lower right chamber of the heart from the main blood vessel leading to the lungs (pulmonary artery).
  2. Ventricular septal defect – It is a hole (defect) in the wall that separates the two lower chambers of the heart — the left and right ventricles.
  3. Overriding of the aorta – The aortic valve is enlarged and appears to arise from both the left and right ventricles instead of the left ventricle as in normal hearts
  4. Hypertrophy of the right ventricle – When the heart’s pumping action is overworked, it causes the muscular wall of the right ventricle to thicken.

Tetralogy of Fallot

Fig: Tetralogy of Fallot

The defects cause congenital cyanosis and considerably limit activity. It occurs during fetal growth when the baby’s heart is developing. Once tetralogy of Fallot is diagnosed, the immediate management focuses on determining whether the child’s oxygen levels are in a safe range. Treatment is surgical in nature. The timing of the surgical procedure and which treatment option is used is based on the individual condition of the patient.

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