Coronary Artery Fistula -- Child

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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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:

    • Echocardiogram
    • Chest x-ray

    Your child's heart function may be tested. This can be done with:

    • Electrocardiogram
    • Cardiac catheterization

  • Prevention

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

  • Risk Factors

    The risk factors for coronary artery fistula is 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 medical care right away. In severe cases, this condition can lead to a
    heart attack, heart failure,
    or a ruptured fistula.

  • Treatment

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