Peds Happy Hearts, PLLC

Tetralogy of Fallot: Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment

Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF) is a congenital heart defect that affects the heart’s structure. It causes a range of symptoms, including shortness of breath and reduced oxygenation of the blood.

The tetralogy of Fallot is a combination of four abnormalities. It results in a mixed blood flow between the right and left sides of the heart. These abnormalities include a narrowing of the pulmonary valve, a hole in the wall between the ventricles, an enlarged aortic valve that sits over both ventricles, and an abnormally thickened right ventricular wall.

Symptoms of Tetralogy of Fallot:

Symptoms of TOF can vary depending on the severity of the condition. Some common symptoms include cyanosis (a blue tint to the skin and lips), shortness of breath, fainting, and delayed growth and development. These symptoms can range from mild to severe and worsen over time if left untreated.


Typically, TOF is diagnosed with a fetal echocardiogram. Based on the study and severity, the baby will either be delivered at a surgical center or at a local hospital. However, there are cases where this heart defect is undiagnosed. In this case, a doctor will order a postnatal echocardiogram (heart ultrasound) due to a heart murmur or other symptoms. The echocardiogram will show the defect..


Treatment for tetralogy of Fallot typically involves surgery to repair the heart defects. The most common procedure is called a complete intracardiac repair. This involves repairing the ventricular septal defect and widening the pulmonary valve, allowing for better blood flow to the lungs. In some cases, additional surgeries may be necessary as the child grows and develops.

Individuals with tetralogy of Fallot need to receive regular medical care and follow-up. This may include monitoring of heart function and medication management every few months to annual visits. With proper treatment and care, many individuals with tetralogy of Fallot can lead healthy and active lives.

In conclusion, tetralogy of Fallot is a complex congenital heart defect that can cause a range of symptoms and complications. However, with prompt diagnosis and appropriate treatment, individuals with this condition can lead healthy and fulfilling lives. Parents and caregivers need to be aware of the signs and symptoms of this condition and seek medical attention if they suspect their child may be affected.

To schedule a cardiac consultation, contact our office at 406-272-2376.

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