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Medical Science Monitor Basic Research


Bland-White-Garland syndrome – a rare and serious cause of failure to thrive

Challenging differential diagnosis, Rare disease, Congenital defects / diseases

Agnieszka Szmigielska, Maria Roszkowska-Blaim, Małgorzata Gołąbek-Dylewska, Agnieszka Tomik, Michał Brzewski, Bożena Werner

Poland Warsaw, Poland

Am J Case Rep 2013; 14:370-372

DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.889112

Available online:

Published: 2013-09-16


Background: Bland-White-Garland syndrome (BWGS) is a very rare disease characterized by anomalous origin of the left coronary artery from the pulmonary trunk (ALCAPA). WBGS affects 1 in every 300 000 live births. Children typically present with dyspnea, pallor, and failure to thrive. Without surgical repair, most of these children die during the first months of life.
Case Report: This case report describes 3-month-old boy admitted to the hospital because of feeding problems. The boy was born at term, with birth weight 3200 g, and was 10 points in Apgar score. He was breast-fed from birth. From the seventh week of age, his mother observed his increasing difficulties with feeding. Physical examination revealed pale skin, diminished heart sounds, tachycardia, cardiomegaly, and hepatomegaly. Results of urine and blood tests and ultrasonography of the central nervous system and abdomen were normal. The chest radiography showed cardiomegaly and electrocardiogram revealed anterolateral myocardial infarction. On echocardiography, an anomalous left coronary artery arising from the pulmonary artery was found. The life-saving treatment of choice was immediate surgical reimplantation of the left coronary artery to the aorta.
Conclusions: Children with congenital heart disease are often prone to malnutrition, but in rare cases failure to thrive and breast-feeding problems can be the first symptoms of life-threatening diseases like myocardial infarction secondary to Bland-White-Garland syndrome (BWGS).

Keywords: Failure to Thrive, Myocardial Infarction, Bland-White-Garland syndrome