Diseases & Conditions


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Tetralogy of Fallot


Synonyms of Tetralogy of Fallot
  • Fallot's Tetralogy
  • Pulmonic Stenosis-Ventricular Septal Defect

Disorder Subdivisions



    General Discussion
    Tetralogy of Fallot is the most common form of cyanotic congenital heart disease. Cyanosis is the abnormal bluish discoloration of the skin that occurs because of low levels of circulating oxygen in the blood. Tetralogy of Fallot consists of the combination of four different heart defects: a ventricular septal defect (VSD); obstructed outflow of blood from the right ventricle to the lungs (pulmonary stenosis); a displaced aorta, which causes blood to flow into the aorta from both the right and left ventricles (dextroposition or overriding aorta); and abnormal enlargement of the right ventricle (right ventricular hypertrophy). The severity of the symptoms is related to the degree of blood flow obstruction from the right ventricle.

    The normal heart has four chambers. The two upper chambers, known as atria, are separated from each other by a fibrous partition known as the atrial septum. The two lower chambers are known as ventricles and are separated from each other by the ventricular septum. Valves connect the atria (left and right) to their respective ventricles. The valves allow for blood to be pumped through the chambers. Blood travels from the right ventricle through the pulmonary artery to the lungs where it receives oxygen. The blood returns to the heart through pulmonary veins and enters the left ventricle. The left ventricle sends the now oxygen-filled blood into the main artery of the body (aorta). The aorta sends the blood throughout the body.

    If infants with tetralogy of Fallot are not treated, the symptoms usually become progressively more severe. Blood flow to the lungs may be further decreased and severe cyanosis may cause life-threatening complications. The exact cause of tetralogy of Fallot is not known.
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    Organizations related to Tetralogy of Fallot
    • Adult Congenital Heart Association
      6757 Greene Street
      Philadelphia PA 19119
      Phone #: 215-849-1260
      800 #: --
      e-mail: info@achaheart.org
      Home page: http://www.achaheart.org/
    • American Heart Association
      National Center
      Dallas TX 75231-4596
      Phone #: 214-373-6300
      800 #: 800-242-8721
      e-mail: inquire@heart.org
      Home page: http://www.americanheart.org
    • Congenital Heart Anomalies, Support, Education, & Resources
      2112 North Wilkins Road
      Swanton OH 43558
      Phone #: 419-825-5575
      800 #: --
      e-mail: chaser@compuserve.com
      Home page: http://www.csun.edu/~hcmth011/chaser/chaser-news.html
    • Congenital Heart Information Network
      1561 Clark Dr
      Yardley PA 19067
      Phone #: 215-493-3068
      800 #: --
      e-mail: mb@tchin.org
      Home page: http://www.tchin.org
    • Kids With Heart National Association for Children's Heart Disorders, Inc.
      1578 Careful Dr
      Green Bay WI 54304-2941
      Phone #: 920-498-0058
      800 #: 800-538-5390
      e-mail: kidswithheart@greenbaynet.com
      Home page: http://www.kidswithheart.org
    • Little Hearts, Inc.
      P.O. Box 171
      Cromwell CT 06416
      Phone #: 860-635-0006
      800 #: 866-435-4673
      e-mail: info@littlehearts.org
      Home page: http://www.littlehearts.org
    • MUMS (Mothers United for Moral Support, Inc) National Parent-to-Parent Network
      150 Custer Court
      Green Bay WI 54301-1243
      Phone #: 920-336-5333
      800 #: 877-336-5333
      e-mail: mums@netnet.net
      Home page: http://www.netnet.net/mums/
    • Madisons Foundation
      PO Box 241956
      Los Angeles CA 90024
      Phone #: 310-264-0826
      800 #: N/A
      e-mail: getinfo@madisonsfoundation.org
      Home page: http://www.madisonsfoundation.org
    • NIH/National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute Information Center
      P.O. Box 30105
      Bethesda MD 20824-0105
      Phone #: 301-592-8573
      800 #: --
      e-mail: nhlbiinfo@rover.nhlbi.nih.gov
      Home page: N/A



    For a Complete Report

    This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc. ? (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be obtained for a small fee by visiting the NORD website. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational treatments (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, see http://www.rarediseases.org/search/rdblist.html