What are the symptoms & causes of tetralogy of Fallot ?


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Tetralogy of Fallot is a rare condition caused by a combination of four heart defects which are evident ever since the birth of the child. Read the article to know more


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Tetralogy of Fallot : Symptoms Causes www.fortisbangalore.com

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INTRODUCTION 1. Tetralogy of Fallot is a rare condition caused by a combination of four heart defects which are evident e ver since the birth of the child. 2. The defects affect the structure of the heart and hence cause oxygen-poor blood to flow out of the heart and throughout the body. 3. Children and infants with this disease usually have blue-tinged because their blood does not carry eno ugh oxygen. 4. Tetralogy of Fallot is often diagnosed at the time of infancy or soon after.

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SYMPTOMS 01 03 Tetralogy of Fallot have symptoms which vary depending on the extent of obstruction of blood flow ou t of the right ventricle and into the lungs. Symptoms and signs to be taken note of may include: • Shortness of breath and rapid breathing caused during feeding or exercise. • Bluish colour of the skin caused due to low oxygen in the blood. • Loss of consciousness • Poor weight gain • Clubbing of fingers and toes causing an abnormal rounded shape of the nail bed. • Tiring easily during play or exercise • A heart murmur • Irritability • Prolonged crying

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Tet Spells • Babies and infants having tetralogy of Fallot will suddenly develop blue skin nails and lips after crying or feeding or when agitated. • Tet spells which are also known as hypercyanotic episodes are considered a very severe symptom of the disease wh ich is usually caused by a rapid drop in the amount of oxygen in the blood. • Tet spells are very common among young infants around two to four months old. • As squatting increases blood flow to the lungs toddlers and older children might instinctively squat when they ar e short of breath.

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CAUSES Tetralogy of Fallot takes place during fetal growth when the heart of the baby is developing. Factors like a viral illness poor maternal nutrition or genetic disorders might increase the risk of this condition while in certain cases the cause of the disease is yet unknown. The four abnormalities in the tetralogy of Fallot include: Ventricular septal defect - This defect results in a hole in the septum that separates the two lower chambers of the hear t. The deoxygenated blood enters the right ventricle through the hole and hence the blood that has circulated throug h the body is returning to the lungs to replenish its oxygen supply and to flow to the left ventricle and end up mixing with the oxygenated blood fresh from the lungs. Pulmonary valve stenosis -It is depicted as the narrowing of the pulmonary valve which separates the lower right cha mber of the heart from the main blood vessels leading to the lungs resulting in the constriction of the pulmonary valv e hence reducing the blood flow to the lungs.

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Right ventricular hypertrophy - When the pumping action of the heart is overworked it causes the muscular wall of th e right ventricle to thicken which may lead the heart to stiffen become weak and eventually fail. Overriding aorta - In normal cases the aorta or the main artery leading out to the body branches off the left ventricle. In the case of tetralogy of Fallot the aorta is shifted slightly to the right and is positioned directly above the defect whe re the aorta receives blood from both the right and left ventricles hence mixing the oxygen-poor blood from the right ventricle with the oxygen-rich blood from the left ventricle. Tetralogy of Fallot is usually treated by open-heart surgery in the first year of life of the baby in any heart hospital in Bangalore. The timing of surgery depends on the symptoms and signs of the baby. This disease occurs in about 1 in 2000 new-borns where males and females are affected equally and can be treated by heart specialist in Bangalore.

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