Also known as: ventricular septal defect, VSD, atrial septal defect, ASD.
What are septal defects?
A septal defect is a hole in the tissue (septum) that separates two adjacent chambers of the heart. It is commonly present between the upper chambers of the heart (the left atrium and right atrium) when it's called an atrial septal defect or it can occur between the lower chambers of the heart (the ventricles) when it is called a ventricular septal defect.
What causes septal defects?
The exact cause of septal defects is not known. It may occur with other congenital heart problems. Genetic (hereditary) and/or environmental factors may play a role.
What are the symptoms of septal defects?
Depending on which type of septal defect is present, and its size, there may be no symptoms or children may present with fatigue, tiredness with playing, sweating, rapid or shortness of breath, recurrent respiratory tract infections, poor growth, and heart palpitations.
What are septal defects care options?
Depending of which defect is present, its size, location, and whether symptoms and/or complications are present or not, ongoing observation, medications, nutritional support, devices to plug the hole, or surgery may be required.
Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP
This page was last updated on: 6/12/2018 2:00:02 PM
From the Newsdesk
Li Hongyang, 37, traveled all the way from his hometown of Shanghai China to find the best possible care for his complex heart condition. What he did not expect is that he would receive his lifesaving treatment at a children’s hospital.
Dr. Burke is the Pediatric Specialists of America (PSA) Chief of Cardiovascular Surgery with The Heart Program at Nicklaus Children's Hospital.