Unrepaired Tetralogy of Fallot in an 85-Year-Old Man

Riccardo Gorla, Andrea Macchi, Irene Franzoni, Isabella Rosa, Fabio Buzzetti, Anna G. Pavon, Alberto Margonato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Tetralogy of Fallot is the most common cyanotic congenital heart defect and accounts for about 5% of all congenital cardiopathies. The definitive treatment modality for tetralogy of Fallot is reparative surgery, which is recommended to be performed by the time of diagnosis. Without surgical repair, most patients would die during their childhood. In the past, survival data indicated that 66% of persons with tetralogy of Fallot not surgically treated lived until the age of 1, 49% lived until the age of 3, and 24% lived until the age of 10. We now present a rare case of a man with unrepaired tetralogy of Fallot who survived until the age of 85. He presented to our emergency room for dyspnea and palpitations due to a new-onset high-frequency atrial fibrillation and acute heart failure; transthoracic echocardiography showed the presence of tetralogy of Fallot. By consulting the scientific literature, we can say that this is the second patient who survived more than 80 years without surgical intervention.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCongenital Heart Disease
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2012


  • Congenital heart disease
  • Tetralogy of Fallot
  • Tetralogy of Fallot surgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Surgery
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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