ABC Medical Center > Tetralogy of Fallot

What is Tetralogy of Fallot?

21:56 - 4 May , 2021


It refers to a rare condition that involves several congenital heart defects, caused by abnormal cardiac development of the fetus in the first eight weeks of gestation, causing the blood flow to carry a reduced amount of oxygen from the heart to the rest of the body.

The term tetralogy of Fallot includes four heart problems:

  • Pulmonary valve stenosis.
  • Ventricular Septal Defect.
  • Aorta displacement.
  • Right ventricular hypertrophy.

Although it is unknown what causes this condition, some factors can contribute to its appearance, such as:

  • Alcohol intake during pregnancy.
  • Pregnancy after 40 years.
  • Poor nutrition during pregnancy.
  • Down syndrome.
  • DiGeorge syndrome.
  • Father or mother with tetralogy of Fallot.
  • Viral infections during pregnancy.

Signs and symptoms Tetralogy of Fallot

The severity of the symptoms depends on the obstruction, but the most frequent are:

  • Clubbing or enlargement of the phalanges.
  • Tiredness and weakness.
  • Blue skin due to lack of oxygen.
  • Fainting.
  • Trouble breathing.
  • Malnutrition.
  • Irritability.
  • Long crying spells.
  • Heart murmur.


  • Infectious endocarditis.
  • Disability in adulthood.
  • Death.

Diagnosis and treatment Tetralogy of Fallot

Normally, the diagnosis is made after delivery or during the first months of life, through the following diagnostic tests:

  • Echocardiogram.
  • Electrocardiogram.
  • Chest x-ray.
  • Cardiac catheterization.
  • Pulse oximetry.

Babies affected by surgeries that repair abnormalities and need lifelong medical check-ups.

Your doctor will define the most appropriate surgery according to the case, but the surgical treatment includes:

  • Temporary bypass: a procedure before intracardiac repair to improve blood flow to the lungs.
  • Intracardiac repairs: used to patch the opening between the ventricles, correct or replace the narrowed pulmonary valve, and widen the pulmonary arteries to increase blood flow.

Long-term complications after surgery are common, including:

  • Arrhythmias.
  • Tricuspid valve leak.
  • Dilation of the aortic root.
  • Dilation of the ventricle.
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Chronic pulmonary insufficiency.
  • Sudden death.
  • Holes in the interventricular wall.

At the Cardiovascular Center, we offer you a wide range of prevention, diagnosis, timely treatment, and follow-up services to take care of you through a comprehensive and multidisciplinary care model. Come to us, we want to hear your heart.


  • Abarca ZV, Piñar SG. Tetralogía de fallot en pediatría. Revista Médica Sinergia. 2020;5(05):479-479.
  • Carrillo-Antonio J, Solórzano-Morales SA, Camacho-Reyes L, et al. Arteria pulmonar izquierda en hamaca asociada a tetralogía de Fallot y bronquio puente. Informe de un caso y revisión de la literatura. Anales de Radiología México. 2018;17(2):145-152.
  • Arredondo AV, Sánchez LF, Harrison GC, et al. Tetralogía de Fallot en un adulto complicada por endocarditis infecciosa tricuspídea. Acta Med. 2020;18(1):97-99. doi:10.35366/92013.
  • Marcano SLE, Selman-Housein SE, Naranjo UAM, et al. Tratamiento combinado intervencionista y quirúrgico en pacientes pediátricos con tetralogía de Fallot. CorSalud. 2013;5(4):379-383.

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