A 3-month-old girl becomes the youngest baby to undergo a Tetralogy of Fallot Correction with a Cor triatriatum Repair. Cor triatriatum is an extremely rare congenital heart defect present in approximately 0.1per cent of children born with a heart disorder. A normal human heart has 4 chambers. Pulmonary veins carry pure blood from the lungs to the left heart from where it is pumped out to the rest of the body. 3-month-old, Kanimozhi (name changed), however, had an extra chamber above the left atrium of her heart, causing her Pulmonary veins to get terminated in the extra chamber, leaving her body deprived of oxygen-rich pure blood.
In addition, Kanimozhi also had a Tetralogy of Fallot, another rare condition caused by a combination of four heart defects that are present at birth. This defect, affecting the structure of the heart, causes less impure blood to flow to the lungs for purification. Thus, the oxygen content in the blood is low.
The combination of Tetralogy of Fallot with Cor triatriatum is extremely rare. Only very few case reports are available in the literature. All of the reported cases are in older children.
When she was brought to the G. Kuppuswamy Naidu Memorial Hospital (GKNM) in Coimbatore, Kanimozhi was struggling to breathe, and had a bluish skin tone, a sign of less levels of oxygen in her body. The team at GKNM decided to operate on her to treat this combination of rare defects, something that has never been done on such a young child before. She underwent single stage repair of both defects with preservation of pulmonary valve. The child has an uneventful surgery and has been discharged.
“Due to the rare combination of 2 defects, we decided that a surgery will give Kanimozhi the best outcome, making her the first 3-month-old baby to go through this surgery. Had we not operated, her growth would have been severely impacted, and she many have not been able to survive” said Dr Vijayakumar Raju, Pediatric and Congenital Heart Surgery Director, GKNM.