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Anomalous Left Coronary Artery from the Pulmonary Artery—Child

  • Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Publication Type:


Anomalous Left Coronary Artery from the Pulmonary Artery—Child



Normally, the left coronary artery carries oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle. The oxygenated blood comes from the aorta.

With anomalous left coronary artery from the pulmonary artery (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 rare heart defect that is present at birth. It is not known why it happens.

Risk Factors

There are no known risk factors for ALCAPA.


Problems may be:

  • Rapid breathing
  • Poor feeding
  • Slow growth
  • Sweating
  • Irritability
  • 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.

Pictures may be taken of your child's chest. 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.


There are no known guidelines to prevent ALCAPA.





  • Anomalous coronary arteries. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/anomalous-coronary-arteries.
  • Anomalous left coronary artery. Cove Point Foundation, Johns Hopkins University website. Available at: http://www.pted.org/?id=anomalouscoronary1.
  • Anomalous left coronary artery from the pulmonary artery (ALCAPA). Boston Children's Hospital website. Available at: https://www.childrenshospital.org/conditions/anomalous-left-coronary-artery-pulmonary-artery-alcapa.
  • Anomalous left coronary artery from the pulmonary artery (ALCAPA). The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia website. Available at: https://www.chop.edu/conditions-diseases/anomalous-left-coronary-artery-pulmonary-artery.
  • 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.


  • Kari Kuenn, MD
Last Updated:

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.