Tetralogy of Fallot is a group of four structural abnormalities within the heart that occur together. These are:
- pulmonary stenosis – a narrowing at, under or above the valve between the right pumping chamber (right ventricle) and the large blood vessel that carries blood to the lungs to pick up oxygen (pulmonary artery)
- ventricular septal defect – a hole between the right and left pumping chambers (ventricles)
- over-riding aorta – the entrance to the large blood vessel that takes blood away from the heart to the rest of the body (aorta) is next to the ventricular septal defect, allowing oxygen-poor blood to flow through it
- thick right ventricle – the heart has to work harder to pump blood through the narrowed pulmonary artery, causing the muscle to thicken
Tetralogy of Fallot is a form of congenital heart disease – a term used to describe a problem with the heart’s structure and function due to abnormal development before birth.
Our Cardiorespiratory Unit regularly refer to information published by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) and the Children's Heart Federation when explaining tetralogy of Fallot to our patients and their families.
Visit the BHF website to download their tetralogy of Fallot factsheet
Read about tetralogy of Fallot on the Children's Heart Federation website