What is tetralogy of Fallot?

Tetralogy of Fallot is a fairly common congenital heart disease It needs an early intervention so that it does not affect the patient's life. Throughout this article we will discover what symptomatology presents, complications and treatment possibilities.

As the article correctly points out Tetralogy of Fallot in the adult patient. About a case, this disease constitutes 10% of all congenital heart diseases. Your early intervention is necessary because it can cause serious complications and affect the quality of life of patients.

The tetralogy of Fallot

The tetralogy of Fallot is characterized by infundibular stenosis of the pulmonary artery, as he points out Tetralogy of Fallot: a case report and review of the literature. This is: the muscle that is below the valve is thicker and causes narrowing at the outlet of the right ventricle.

Likewise, this congenital heart disease can also present an aortic thrust. This means that the aorta rests on the interventricular communication and prevents its proper functioning.

Equally, another characteristic of the tetralogy of Fallot is that may manifest hypertrophy of the right ventricle. The cardiac muscle increases its thickness and this causes that it has to strain more when contracting due to the narrowing of the exit of the ventricle.


The reason why the tetralogy of Fallot should be surgically intervened as soon as possible is because his symptoms are serious. In fact, we will see some points that will allow us to know a little better how it affects the quality of life of younger patients:

  • Cyanosis: the skin and mucous membranes have a bluish color that indicates that there is a deficient oxygenation of the blood. They can appear on the face, hands or any other part of the body, and also in the mouth (perioral cyanosis).
  • Diaphoresis: sweating that occurs when the baby is breastfed, because it takes a lot of effort and breathing (dyspnea).
  • Acrocyanosis: the fingers and toes are characterized by being cold most of the time. They present cyanosis and diaphoresis.

Children may also have a heart murmur. Also, the delay in its development, the presence of fatigue before the minimum performance of physical exercise and, even, fainting can alert of the presence of this congenital heart disease.

Maybe you're interested: Classification of heart murmurs


It is necessary to raise awareness about the importance of treating tetralogy of Fallot as soon as possible. In fact, all children with this heart disease should undergo corrective surgery.

Without treatment, this heart disease can lead to death at an early age. Likewise, it can also cause disabilities in adulthood. Also, the failure to treat this congenital heart disease can lead to infections. For example, the inflammation of a heart valve due to a bacterial infection.

Read also: Detection of congenital anomalies in the newborn

Living with tetralogy of Fallot

A person who undergoes surgery early to treat tetralogy of Fallot can lead a normal life. But nevertheless, it is necessary that a medical follow-up be done throughout the whole life due to certain risks.

People who have been treated for this congenital heart disease they are at risk of sudden death from the age of 35, although its percentage is very low. Also, arrhythmias may increase over the years.

Pregnant women with this pathology must undergo certain tests to assess how they are health, the arrhythmias they have and the measures they must take (absolute rest, no harmful habits such as smoking, healthy weight …).

As we have seen, being born with tetralogy of Fallot can condition the rest of our life. However, with an early corrective surgery and a medical follow-up, you can have a completely normal quality of life.

We hope that this article has allowed you to know a type of heart disease that you may not have heard about until now. This will help you take the necessary measures if someone in your environment comes to suffer at some point.