Anomalous left coronary artery from the pulmonary artery (ALCAPA) symptoms & causes in children

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What is ALCAPA?

ALCAPA stands for Anomalous Left Coronary Artery from the Pulmonary Artery. It is a very rare heart defect where the left coronary artery forms abnormally. Instead of connecting to the aorta, as in a normal heart, it connects to the pulmonary artery.

Why is ALCAPA a problem?

In a normal heart, the left coronary artery starts in the aorta, the major blood vessel that takes oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the rest of the body.

In children with ALCAPA, the left coronary artery starts at the pulmonary artery and carries oxygen-poor blood to the left side of the heart. When the heart doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can weaken or die.

This is what happens during a heart attack. The damaged heart muscle cannot pump effectively, leading to heart failure.

What are the symptoms of ALCAPA?

Symptoms of ALCAPA in an infant include:

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