by Neff DM

Coronary Artery Fistula—Child

Definition

Coronary artery fistula is an abnormal connection between the coronary artery and the heart or other blood vessels. Coronary arteries carry oxygen-rich blood to the heart tissue. A small fistula will not affect this blood flow, but larger fistulas may cause problems.
The Coronary Arteries
si1902 the coronary arteries
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Causes

This condition is typically a congenital defect. This means that a baby is born with it. It is not known exactly why the fistula develops.
Some fistulas can also occur after birth due to infection, injury, or heart surgery.

Risk Factors

The risk factors for coronary artery fistula are unclear.

Symptoms

Children with this condition usually do not have any symptoms.
A large fistula may cause chest pain, an irregular heart beat, or an abnormal pulse, but this is rare. If your child has any of these symptoms, get emergency medical care right away. In severe cases, this condition can lead to a heart attack, heart failure, or a ruptured fistula.

Diagnosis

You will be asked about your child’s symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. A coronary artery fistula may be suspected if a heart murmur is heard during a physical exam.
Images may be taken of your child's bodily structures. This can be done with:
Your child's heart function may be tested. This can be done with:

Treatment

Talk with the doctor about the best treatment plan for your child. Options include:

Surgery

Surgeries that may be done to treat this condition include:
  • Coil embolization —A special coil is passed through blood vessels in the arms or legs to the heart. The coil can close off the abnormal vessel.
  • Open heart surgery—to close the defect with stitches.

Lifelong Monitoring

Your child will have regular exams by a heart doctor. This is done to prevent major complications.

Prevention

Preventing heart defects may not always be possible. However, getting regular prenatal care is always important.

RESOURCES

American Heart Association http://www.heart.org

Family Doctor—American Family Physician http://www.familydoctor.org

CANADIAN RESOURCES

Canadian Cardiovascular Society http://www.ccs.ca

Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada http://www.heartandstroke.com

References

Coronary artery fistula. Children’s Hospital Boston website. Available at: http://www.childrenshospital.org/az/Site1748/mainpageS1748P1.html. Accessed November 7, 2014.

Coronary artery fistula. Johns Hopkins University, Cove Point Foundation website. Available at: http://www.pted.org/?id=coronaryfistula1. Updated May 16, 2011. Accessed November 7, 2014.

Lin C-T, Lin T-K. The current status of coronary artery fistula. J Intern Med Taiwan. 2009;20:484-489.

Revision Information

Health Library Search

Only show results from the selected categories.











Aortic stenosis (AS) is a narrowing of the aortic valve. This valve controls the flow of blood from the heart to a large artery called the aorta. The aorta carries the bl...

The aortic valve is located between the left ventricle of the heart and the aorta, which is the largest artery in the body. The aorta supplies blood throughout the body. ...

Hypoplastic left heart syndrome is a rare heart defect. In a normal heart, the blood flows in from the body to the right atrium. It then goes into the right ventricle. Ne...

Ebstein’s anomaly is a rare heart defect. In a normal heart, the blood flows in from the body to the right atrium. It then goes into the right ventricle. Next, the blood ...

Tricuspid atresia is an abnormal development of the right side of the heart. It includes a missing valve between the upper and lower chamber and a smaller than normal low...

Single ventricle anomalies refer to a category of rare heart conditions that can develop in the growing fetus. In a normal heart, the two ventricles work by collecting bl...

Anomalous left coronary artery from the pulmonary artery (ALCAPA) is a rare heart defect. Normally, the left coronary artery carries oxygenated blood to the heart muscle...

An absent pulmonary valve is a rare heart defect. In a normal heart, blood flows from the body into the right atrium and on to the right ventricle. Blood is then pumped ...

Mitral stenosis is a narrowing of the mitral valve in the heart. The mitral valve is in the left side of the heart between the upper and lower chambers of the heart. When...

The aorta is the main artery carrying oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the body. After each heart beat, the valve closes tightly to prevent blood from flowing backward...

The flow of blood pumped by the heart is controlled by one-way valves. These valves assure that blood moves in only one direction. Mitral regurgitation occurs when the he...

The heart is made up of four chambers. The two upper chambers are the atria and the two lower chambers are the ventricles. The sinoatrial (SA) node, located near the top ...

Mitral stenosis is a narrowing of the mitral valve in the heart. This valve is located between the upper chamber and the lower pumping chamber of the left side of the hea...

Tricuspid valve disease refers to damage to the tricuspid heart valve. This valve is located between the atrium (upper chamber) and the ventricle (lower pumping chamber) ...