Anomalous left coronary artery from the pulmonary artery (ALCAPA) is a rare heart defect.
Normally, the left coronary artery carries oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle. The oxygenated blood comes from the aorta.
With ALCAPA, the left coronary artery is not connected to the aorta. Instead, it is connected to the pulmonary artery. This means that the blood does not have enough oxygen in it from the lungs. With this defect, the heart muscles get blood that is low in oxygen. The blood also leaks back into the pulmonary artery because of the low pressure in it.
|The Coronary Arteries|
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ALCAPA is a congenital defect. This means that the baby is born with it. It is not known why this happens.
Problems may be:
- Rapid breathing
- Poor feeding
- Slow growth
- Swelling around the eyes and feet
ALCAPA may be found at birth. In others, it may not be found until the baby is 2 to 6 months of age.
The doctor will ask about your child’s symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done.
Images may be taken of your child's body. This can be done with:
Your child's heart function may be tested. This can be done with:
Surgery will be needed to help with heart function and blood flow. The left coronary artery will be:
- Detached from the pulmonary artery
- Reconnected to the aorta
Lifelong heart monitoring will be needed.
American Heart Association http://www.heart.org
Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians http://www.familydoctor.org
Canadian Cardiovascular Society http://www.ccs.ca
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada http://www.heartandstroke.ca
Anomalous coronary arteries. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/anomalous-coronary-arteries. Accessed March 10, 2021.
Anomalous left coronary artery. Cove Point Foundation, Johns Hopkins University website. Available at: http://www.pted.org/?id=anomalouscoronary1. Accessed March 10, 2021.
Anomalous left coronary artery from the pulmonary artery (ALCAPA). Boston Children's Hospital website. Available at: http://www.childrenshospital.org/health-topics/conditions/anomalous-left-coronary-artery-from-the-pulmonary-artery-alcapa. Accessed March 10, 2021.
Anomalous left coronary artery from the pulmonary artery (ALCAPA). The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia website. Available at: http://www.chop.edu/service/cardiac-center/heart-conditions/anomalous-left-coronary-artery-from-pulmonary-artery.html. Accessed March 10, 2021.
Villa AD, Sammut E, et al. Coronary artery anomalies overview: The normal and the abnormal. World J Radiol. 2016 Jun 28;8(6):537-555.
- Reviewer: EBSCO Medical Review Board Kari Kassir, MD
- Review Date: 12/2020
- Update Date: 03/10/2021