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: