Correcting a congenital defect that denies the heart of oxygen-rich blood
In a normal heart, both coronary arteries branch off the aorta. If you’re born with anomalous left coronary artery from the pulmonary artery (ALCAPA), the left coronary artery branches off from the pulmonary artery instead. This means not enough oxygen-rich blood reaches the heart, which can result in damaged or dying heart tissue.
Surgery is required to fix ALCAPA. We use various techniques, including moving, replacing, and reconnecting arteries in the heart to promote better blood flow and oxygenation.
Most patients experience a good quality of life after surgery to correct ALCAPA, although they will need lifelong monitoring due to a higher risk for abnormal heart rhythms known as arrhythmias.
Experts from our Adult Congenital Heart Center team will follow-up with you throughout adulthood to make sure your heart continues to work properly.
If ALCAPA has seriously damaged the heart muscle that supports the mitral valve, surgery also may be needed to repair or replace the valve. A heart transplant also may be needed if the heart is severely damaged due to lack of oxygen.
Anomalous left coronary artery from the pulmonary artery (ALCAPA) is a rare congenital heart disease in which the left coronary artery is connected to the pulmonary artery instead of the aorta.
An angiogram is a special X-ray taken as a special dye is injected through a thin, flexible tube called a catheter to detect blockages or aneurysms in blood vessels.
Cardiac catheterization is a minimally invasive way to diagnose and treat a variety of heart and vascular conditions by guiding thin, flexible tubes called catheters through blood vessels to problem areas.
The cardiac computed tomography scan, or cardiac CT, uses X-rays to create three-dimensional images of your heart and blood vessels.
An echocardiogram uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of your heart.
An electrocardiogram, also known as an ECG, measures the heart’s electrical activity.
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Have general questions for our heart and vascular program? Email us at AskMHVI@medstar.net. If you have clinically-specific questions, please contact your physician’s office.