A small fistula that is not causing symptoms usually will not need treatment. Some small fistulas will close on their own. Often even if they do not close, they will never cause symptoms or need treatment.
Infants with a larger fistula will need to have surgery to close the abnormal connection. The surgeon closes the site with a patch or stitches.
Another treatment plugs up the opening without surgery, using a special wire (coil) that is inserted into the heart with a long, thin tube called a catheter. After the procedure, the fistula will usually close in children.
Children who have surgery usually do well, although a small percentage may need to have surgery again. Most people with this condition have a normal lifespan.
- Abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia)
- Heart attack
- Heart failure
- Opening (rupture) of the fistula
- Poor oxygen to the heart
Complications are more common in older patients.
Calling Your Health Care Provider
Coronary artery fistula is usually diagnosed during a doctor’s exam. Call your health care provider if your infant has symptoms of this condition.
Review Date : 2/5/2010
Reviewed By : Kurt R. Schumacher, MD, Pediatric Cardiology, University of Michigan Congenital Heart Center, Ann Arbor, MI. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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