The diagnosis may also be suspected based on a baby's health soon after birth.
An image will be taken to confirm the diagnosis. This can be done with an echocardiogram.
Medicine may be given to ease symptoms. Surgery will also be needed. Choices are:
Small infants with severe TOF may not be strong enough for a complete repair surgery. Surgery is done to make a temporary, new path for the blood. The blood will be sent past the problems in the heart and go directly to the lungs. This will increase blood to the lungs. It will also raise oxygen in the blood.
Most children with TOF have open-heart surgery within the first few years of life. It will:
Close the hole in the heart by putting a patch over it
Improve blood flow from the heart to the lungs by one or more of these methods:
Removing some of the thickened heart muscle on the right side of the heart
Repairing or replacing the valve that allows the blood to flow from the heart to the lungs
Increasing the size of the blood vessels that carry blood to the lungs
For some children, a path is created between the heart and the blood vessels to the lungs.
Ma M, Maiwaring RD, Hanley FL. Comprehensive management of major aortopulmonary collaterals in the repair of tetraology of Fallot. Semin Thorac Cardiovasc Surg Pediatr Card Surg Ann. 2018;21:75-82.
Monaco M, Williams I. Tetralogy of Fallot: fetal diagnosis to surgical correction. Minerva Pediatr. 2012 Oct;64(5):461-470.
Seki M, Kuwata S, Kurishima C, et al. Report from the Japanese Society of Pediatric Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery Research Committee on Cardiovascular Function in Adult Patients with Congenital Heart Disease: Mechanism of aortic root dilation and cardiovascular function in patients with tetralogy of Fallot. Pediatr Int. 2016 Jan [Epub ahead of print].
Tetralogy of Fallot. American Heart Association website. Available at: https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/congenital-heart-defects/about-congenital-heart-defects/tetralogy-of-fallot. Accessed April 13, 2020.
Last reviewed February 2020 by
EBSCO Medical Review Board
Rimas Lukas, MD
Last Updated: 4/13/2020
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