| Risk Factors
In a normal heart, the coronary arteries carry oxygen-rich blood to the heart tissue. The blood is then returned through a coronary vein. With a coronary artery fistula, the artery connects to a wrong part of the heart (eg, the heart chamber or other blood vessels).
The Coronary Arteries
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This condition can be mild to severe. Other heart defects may be present as well.
This condition is typically a congenital defect. This means that the baby is born with it. It is not known exactly why the coronary artery develops abnormally in some babies. It can also occur after birth due to infection, injury, or heart surgery.
For many congenital heart defects, the risk factors are unclear.
Children with this condition usually do not have any symptoms. Sometimes the condition is noticed by a
that the doctor hears during a physical exam. Occasionally, other symptoms may include:
If your child has any of these symptoms, get medical care right away. In severe cases, this condition can lead to a
or a ruptured fistula.
The doctor will ask about your child’s symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. Tests may include:
—an imaging test that uses sound waves to look at the size, shape, and motion of the heart
—an imaging test that uses low amounts of radiation to create an image of the chest
—a test that measures the electrical activity of the heart
—a test that uses a catheter (tube) and x-ray machine to assess the heart and its blood supply
Talk with the doctor about the best treatment plan for your child. Options include:
Surgeries that may be done to treat this condition include:
—The defect may be closed through a catheterization procedure. A soft metal coil or clamp is placed to close the abnormal vessel.
- Surgery—Surgery may be done to close the defect using stitches.
Your child will have regular exams by a heart doctor.
Preventing heart defects may not always be possible. However, getting regular prenatal care is always important.