Children who are born with complex congenital heart disease associated with a reduced blood flow to their lungs can sometimes develop collateral vessels.
What are collaterals?
If a baby is born with a malformation of the heart and a lack of blood flowing to the lungs to collect oxygen, the child will have low oxygen saturations (the amount of oxygen in their blood). They are cyanosed (have blue-coloured lips and fingernails) and may be breathless on mild exercise or feeding. Collaterals are connections, like normal blood vessels, that can develop in children with cyanotic heart disease such as single ventricle heart conditions.
There are two types of collaterals: