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There are many ways you can help children and their families get the care they need.
In a normal heart, oxygen-poor (blue) blood returns to the right atrium from the body and travels to the right ventricle. Then, it is pumped through the pulmonary artery into the lungs, where it receives oxygen. Oxygen-rich (red) blood returns to the left atrium from the lungs, passes into the left ventricle and then is pumped through the aorta out to the body.
But in ToF, the abnormal features prevent enough oxygen-poor (blue) blood from flowing to the lungs as it should. As a result, a person with ToF has a lower-than-normal amount of oxygen in the blood. Surgical intervention is needed.
In ToF, there are four cardiac anatomic characteristics:
ToF/PA is a more severe variant of ToF.
ToF/PA is a combination of cardiac anatomic characteristics:
A diagnosis of ToF is usually made by echocardiogram (cardiac ultrasound). Other tests may be used to provide additional information.
Your child may need additional operation(s) or catheterization(s) as he grows older. Although the goal of the operation is to repair the defect, some patients will develop leakage from the pulmonary valve that requires replacement. This usually occurs in adolescence or later adulthood, although it can occur sooner.
Teenagers with congenital heart defects will have to deal with medical appointments and procedures and possible restrictions on physical activities.
Adults who were treated for congenital heart disease as a child will need to be followed by a cardiologist because complications from early heart disease can arise in adulthood. ToF patients may be at some risk for arrhythmias, leaky valves and other heart problems.
Non-cardiac surgeries may pose risks for some patients and will require evaluation and discussion with a cardiologist. For female patients, pregnancy may also present risks.
Boston Children's helps adults with congenital heart defects, too.
Boston Children’s Heart Center is the largest pediatric heart program in the United States. Our staff of more than 80 pediatric cardiac specialists cares for thousands of children and adults with congenital and acquired heart defects each year, from simple to complex cases. We have experience treating rare heart problems—with results that are among the best in the world.
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.”