What are the anatomic characteristics of the pulmonary arteries in adults with tetralogy of Fallot (TOF)?

Updated: Nov 13, 2018
  • Author: Shabir Bhimji, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Yasmine S Ali, MD, FACC, FACP, MSCI  more...
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Answer

The size of the pulmonary arteries in tetralogy of Fallot vary in size and distribution. In most cases, the vessels are hypoplastic but can be atretic in severe cases. An almost universally common feature of tetralogy of Fallot is reduced blood flow in the pulmonary arteries and, hence cyanosis. There are also reported cases of an absent left pulmonary artery. In close to three quarters of patients with TOF, there is pulmonary valve stenosis, which is often due to leaflet tethering rather than commissural fusion. In virtually all such cases, the pulmonary annulus is narrowed.


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