Tetralogy of Fallot
Also known as: tetralogy, TOF
What is Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF)?
Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF) is a heart condition of several (“tetralogy” refers to four) defects present at birth that occur due to abnormal development of the heart during pregnancy. TOF is one of the most common congenital heart defects.
- Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD): An opening in the wall that divides the two lower chambers of the heart known as the right and left ventricles.
- Overriding aorta: The aorta is moved to right side of the heart so that it sits over the ventricular septal defect.
- Pulmonary obstruction: A muscular obstruction in the right ventricle that lowers normal blood flow.
- Right ventricular hypertrophy: The right ventricle becomes thickened as it tries to pump blood past the obstruction
What are the signs/symptoms?
- cyanosis, a blue skin color indicating a decrease in oxygen in the bloodstream
What causes Tetralogy of Fallot?
At times, TOF may occur as part of a syndrome such as Down syndrome
; however most of the time, this heart defect happens by chance.
How is Tetralogy of Fallot diagnosed?
TOF may be discovered during your child’s physical exam, while a pediatrician is listening to his/her heart. If a heart murmur
(an abnormal heart sound) is detected, your child will be referred to a pediatric cardiologist for a diagnosis. Tests that a pediatric cardiologist may recommend include:
- Chest X-ray
- Echocardiogram (ECHO): A fetal echo is an ultrasound of your baby’s heart. A fetal echo checks your baby’s heart structure, rhythm, and function as well as the growth and development of your baby.
- Electrocardiogram (ECG): An electrocardiogram checks for problems with the electrical activity of the heart.
Treatment for Tetralogy of Fallot
If your baby is diagnosed with TOF, the treatment is surgical repair of the defects
. The repair will permit the blood to travel its usual route through the pulmonary artery to receive oxygen.
This page was last updated on: October 04, 2019 12:41 PM
The Heart Program at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital remains dedicated to providing the very best and safest experience for patients undergoing congenital heart surgery. This report will review the program’s 24-year surgical experience in repairing children with a diagnosis of tetralogy of Fallot (TOF).
Patient Success Stories
After a normal full-term pregnancy with no complications, Shenequa gave birth to Ayden via C-section in May 2017 in the island of St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Shortly after, the baby's pediatrician detected a murmur, but with no pediatric cardiologist on the island, Ayden was airlifted to Nicklaus Children's Hospital.
Learn more about
Pulmonary stenosis is usually a congenital heart defect, which means that babies are born with it.
Ventricular Septal Defect
Ventricular septal defect is a defect that babies are born with. It is often present with other heart problems.
Tetralogy of Fallot Repair
Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF) is a heart defect present at birth. TOF consists of four different heart abnormalities: a ventricular septal defect, overriding aorta, pulmonary stenosis and right ventricular hypertrophy.