Coronary Artery Fistula
Also known as: CAF, congenital heart defect.
What is a coronary artery fistula?
The coronary arteries are the oxygen rich blood vessels that deliver blood to the heart muscles.
A coronary artery fistula is a rare, abnormal, usually congenital (meaning a baby is born with it) defect where a coronary artery, rather than connecting to a coronary vein, incorrectly enters a heart chamber or different blood vessel.
What causes coronary artery fistula?
In most cases, coronary artery fistula is a heart defect that is present at birth and there is no known cause for it. Other times, heart surgery, an injury to the heart or an infection can cause the disorder.
What are the signs/symptoms of coronary artery fistula?
Usually children have no symptoms, the only sign being a heart murmur. Sometimes, the coronary artery fistula can become large and affect the way the heart functions causing shortness of breath, fatigue, chest pain, irregular heartbeat, heart murmur and other problems.
What are coronary artery fistula care options?
If the fistula is minor, it may not require any treatment or heal/close on its own without treatment. Larger ones may cause symptoms and/or complications and require surgery, or a catheter-based device may be used to block/plug the connection.
Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD
This page was last updated on: 6/12/2018 11:40:59 AM
From the Newsdesk
Naialee Perez had just given birth to her first child, a baby boy named Liam, when a category five hurricane was making its way towards her hometown in the island of Puerto Rico. Liam was on a ventilator and undergoing treatment for a congenital heart defect in Hospital del Niño in San Juan while those on the island prepared for what would become one of the most catastrophic hurricanes in its history.
While he was still inside his mother’s womb, Luife was diagnosed with transposition of the great arteries, a congenital heart defect. Shortly after birth, Luife was taken by ambulance to the cardiac team at Nicklaus Children’s. The pediatric cardiology team took Luife’s heart apart, piece by delicate piece, and successfully, put it back together. Today, Luife is a healthy, active and outgoing 8-year-old boy who wears his “Scar of Honor” with pride.