What is the role of arrhythmias in the pathogenesis of 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

Atrial arrhythmias of clinical significance are chiefly of the reentry type, but they may also include atrial tachycardia and atrial fibrillation. These atrial arrhythmias occur in 10-35% of patients with repaired tetralogy of Fallot. [15]

Ventricular arrhythmias and sudden death are also known to occur in those with repaired tetralogy of Fallot. Case studies have revealed that patients who experience sudden death often have moderate to severe pulmonary valve insufficiency at the time of death. Ventricular arrhythmias tend to be less common in patients with mild pulmonary valve insufficiency.

Overall, the risk of late sudden death is many times greater in patients who survive tetralogy of Fallot surgery than in their age-matched counterparts. [16]


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