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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.
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.
Symptoms of ALCAPA in an infant include:
We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”