What is tetralogy of Fallot?

Jimmy Kimmel's newborn has a heart defect that impacts nearly 2,000 infants a year.

Late-night TV host Jimmy Kimmel used his opening monologue Monday night to give an emotional account of how his newborn son was diagnosed with tetralogy of Fallot.

Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF) is a congenital heart condition marked by four defects: a hole in the heart; the aorta lying over the hole; an obstruction from the heart to the lungs; and a thick muscle wall. TOF limits blood flow to the rest of the body. Infants and children with the condition usually have blue-tinted skin because their blood doesn’t carry enough oxygen.

Norton Children’s Heart Institute

With a long legacy of leading pediatric heart care, Norton Children’s Heart Institute pursues our mission to keep your child at the heart of everything we do — while supporting the needs of the entire family.

TOF is rare, but also one of the most common heart defects — about 1,660 U.S. babies are born with it each year.

With early diagnosis followed by one or multiple surgeries, most children who have TOF live relatively normal lives, though they need regular medical care an might have restrictions on exercise.

TOF is one of the many conditions treated at Norton Children’s Heart Center. Recently, Erle H. Austin III, M.D., pediatric cardiovascular surgeon with Norton Children’s Hospital and University of Louisville Physicians, helped save a young Bowling Green girl born with TOF.